Ep 40 Why Artists and Writers Often Live with Guilt and How to Overcome it

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In today’s episode, we talk about why artists and writers often live with guilt and how to overcome it. Although everyone can feel guilty at times, the problem for creatives is that they tend to get a double dose. Artists and writers can feel guilty when they are creating and yet they can also feel guilty when they’re not. So this is where finding a balance is really important.

Some of the things we discuss:

  • Some of the things that we feel might feel guilty about as creatives
  • Suggestions for fitting in your creative pursuit in ways that you can be guilt-free – eg. getting up earlier
  • Why art and creativity can improve our mood and well being which means that we are a happier person to be around
  • Why the cost of creating art shouldn’t make you feel guilty
  • Why you still might feel guilty even if your art/writing is your career
  • Ideas to get your family involved – including drawing your partner/spouse naked (Sandra’s enlightened idea 🙂)

This week’s creative question

Q. What does your typical creative day look like?

Podcast Question What does your typical creative day look like?

The best answers will be read out on the next joint podcast.

You can Tweet us your answers @KickCreatives or let us know in the Facebook Group, which by the way if you haven’t already joined, I highly recommend that you do! We will put the question up there and also on the facebook page… and of course, on our Instagram page @kickinthecreatives.

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If you have any suggestions for the podcast or our challenges please feel free to get in touch.

 

To see the podcast show outline click here

EP 39:
Why Artists and Writers Often Live with Guilt and How to Overcome it.

SANDRA:
Welcome everyone to the show.

Thank everyone who’s been sharing their work on social media

Say what’s caught my eye

Ask Tara what’s caught hers

TARA:
Respond to above.

Ask Sandra what’s new

SANDRA:
Respond to above.

Ask Tara what’s new

TARA

Respond to above

SANDRA
In today’s episode, we talk about why artists and writers often live with guilt and how to overcome it.

Although everyone can feel guilty at times, the problem for creatives is that they tend to get a double dose. Artists and writers can feel guilty when they are creating and yet they can also feel guilty when they’re not. So this is where finding a balance is really important.

So we are going to look at why we feel guilty, the main things that make us feel guilty and ways that we can create a balance and overcome those feelings.

TARA

I think one of the things that make us feel guilty is because what we do is fun. We enjoy it.

It’s an odd thing that we should feel like that, but a lot of people around us can make us feel that what we are doing is frivolous compared to other stuff we have to do.

And because of this, you can end up putting your art or writing right at the bottom of the pile, as a lower priority than the other things we ‘should’ be doing.

But this is a mistake. Often the things that we ‘should’ be doing, really can wait. Whereas our creativity demands a certain amount of self-discipline and consistency.

SANDRA
One of the most obvious things that we need to do is household chores. If the dishes have piled up or you know the hoovering needs to be done, we know that we are going to feel really bad when everyone gets home to find it hasn’t been done, but instead, you have finished a chapter of the book you are writing or an illustration you needed to finish.

But the thing about the housework is that a few hours after you’ve done it, it needs to be done again! It’s a constant thing we have to keep on top of. But a book doesn’t write itself, and once it’s done, it’s done and you can get on to the next thing.

Obviously, I’m not saying we shouldn’t clean our homes. But we should certainly put that lower down on the list of priorities. We can do that anytime!

TARA

You could get up an hour before everyone else does, I remember someone doing early rise August last year and said it had competency changed things for them.

Elaborate on the above. Talk about when you tried it.

Sandra you once did that too.

What did you do with that extra time?

SANDRA
.

I’ve continued getting up an hour earlier than I need to and I still do it now.

Sometimes I use it to do some sketching and other times I’ll use it to do whatever chores need doing so I’ll have time for creativity later on in the day when I’d normally be doing housework.

I’ve even used that time to prepare the dinner for later on so I  can look forward to doing some creative work later instead of having to cook.

TARA:
If your art is a hobby, don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s a low priority.

Art and any kind of creativity is not only something you enjoy but often something that helps with general well-being and mood.

Think of it as looking after yourself so that you are in a better frame of mind when you spend quality time with friends and family.

(Tara, talk about how you feel when you haven’t managed to fit any drawing in your day compared to when you have)

SANDRA
It’s understandable that you might not be able to spend as much time on your creativity if you’re not earning anything from it, but that doesn’t make it any less of an important thing to you.

So, this is where time management comes in. You need to fit your art into small pockets of time wherever you can find them, such as lunch breaks, the commute to work, waiting in the car, or before breakfast. That’s where getting up an hour earlier is so good. You can devote that one hour every day to your art and feel no guilt whatsoever because you’d usually be in bed. And it’s surprising how quickly you get used to a new routine.

TARA
And that guilty feeling can apply even if we are earning from our craft.

Even if you are a full time creative and you are earning, you can feel guilty because you enjoy your work, when other people around you don’t. We’re almost programmed to believe that we shouldn’t enjoy our work, so when we do, it can make us feel like it’s wrong somehow.

SANDRA
Because there is no guarantee your work will sell, it can feel like you should be doing other things

Particularly when you are a writer, you can feel guilty because you need plenty of alone time and it can take months to get something finished and yet there is no guarantee that the book will make any money at all.

TARA:
It can even COST us money. Publishing a book costs money and there is no guarantee as Sandra said, that it will make the costs involved back, let alone make money on top. And the same applies to other forms of art.

Painting can be an expensive business. Canvases and paints don’t come cheap, so there is that added feeling of guilt that your spending money which you might not get back… and you definitely won’t if it’s a hobby.

But everything costs money. If you think about it, there is very little we do that we enjoy that doesn’t have a cost of some sort.

SANDRA
You might feel guilty making art if your family are also wanting some of your time, or if they have nothing to do.

 

This is when setting aside some time when everyone works on their creative pastime or hobby can help. Or when they are watching something on TV you don’t like?

TARA
But sometimes we just have to make sacrifices such as time with friends and family in order to get better at what we do. This applies particularly if you intend to make it a career. And sometimes they just have to accept that.

Just because we feel guilty about it, doesn’t mean we should.

SANDRA
It’s important to make your family understand how important it is to you and what it means you and that you will be a better person as a happier contented person and this can only benefit them too.

TARA:

You could always try involving your friends and family somehow.

For example, why not ask a friend if they will sit for you while you practice drawing portraits?

Or maybe your spouse will let you practice life drawing!

SANDRA

Or you can even ask them to help you think of ideas so they feel more like a part of your creativity, rather than just an onlooker.

If you’re a writer you could ask for ideas on how to develop your story. If you’re a painter you could ask for ideas on subjects. I’ve found my family to be really useful in this way.

TARA

We can feel guilty if others are having a bad time. Almost like we should feel bad about doing something pleasurable.

(Talk about your own experience of this if you have experienced it.)

Sandra I know that last year you had a really long block and it was only after we interviewed Jake Parker in episode 18 that you realised that it your block was a result of guilt.

Can you tell everyone about that?

SANDRA

Talk about the above

TARA:

Ultimately guilt does nothing for us. If you are a creative person, you need to create and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. The people who care about you wouldn’t want you to feel that way.

And the people that don’t, don’t matter!

Finally read out the answers to our previous question…

The question was…

Q. What is the wildest thing you’ve ever done with your art materials?

Read out answers

SANDRA

And we have a brand new question for you, which is:

Q. What does your typical creative day look like?

TARA:

As always you can Tweet us your answers at KickCreatives or let us know in the facebook group, which by the way if you haven’t already joined, I highly recommend that you do! We will put the question up there and also on the facebook page… and of course on our Instagram page, kick in the creatives.

SANDRA:

Don’t forget to pop over to our website at kickinthecreatives.com to find out how you can take part in some of our upcoming creative challenges! And of course there you can also subscribe to the Podcast, so you never miss an episode… And if you are enjoying the Podcast, we’d be so grateful if you would leave us a little review on iTunes, or even just a star rating if you don’t have much time.

TARA:

Also, don’t forget to check out and subscribe to our Weekly Youtube videos, ‘Art Kick Sunday.’ The videos are light-hearted and fun, but also genuinely informative too. So if you want a chuckle, check out the ones we’ve aired so far


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