30 Minutes a Day

I suppose the more you have to do, the more you learn to organize and concentrate—or else get fragmented into bits. I have learned to use my ‘ten minutes’. I once thought it was not worth sitting down for a time as short as that; now I know differently and, if I have ten minutes, I use them, even if they bring only two lines, and it keeps the book alive.” --Rumer Godden, A House with Four Rooms

People who have been following my work in the studio for a while know that my productivity has dramatically increased in the past year. This productivity marked the final aspect of my practice that I had to master: The Daily Practice. It started as an off-hand thought one Sunday morning--maybe I'd try painting 30 minutes a day every day in the coming week and see what happens. The problem became figuring out when I would paint. I knew myself well enough to know that if it wasn't the first thing I did every day, then the chances were that I wouldn't get to it. And that meant getting up even earlier.

It took some doing but I managed it every morning that week. And on Saturday, I wanted even more time in the studio and 30 minutes turned into three hours. I LOVED it. The next Sunday, I made the same pledge and followed through again. And again. And again. Before long the notion had become a habit that I continue today, over a year later.

When you have a creative calling, it is hard--sometimes desperately so--to find time for your self-expression. If you don't have a daily practice yet, take a week and try my 30 minutes a day practice. Comment below and let me know how it goes. I really would love to hear!

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