A strong creative routine is my excuse for having no social life. And you know what? I'm perfectly content with that decision. #noregrets (sorta). Years ago, Colossal posted The Creative Routine of Creative People and I've been obsessed with the graphic ever since. It's neat to relate to other early-birds, in which my partner growls at my 4AM alarms.

The eternal struggle is admitting defeat to my day job. I gotta pay bills and that won't change anytime soon. No matter, here are a few boundaries I've laid out for myself to maximize my creative routine:

  • No emails/phone use/computer screens/tablets/texting during creative hours (4 - 6AM); disconnect and create

  • But yes to emails/phone use/computer screens/tablets/texting during business hours; get the business stuff done and over with

  • No emails/phone use/computer screens/tablets/texting during **reflective/snuggle time with my partner** (8pm - Zzzzzzz); disconnect and connect

  • But yes to maximizing creative opportunity during my weekends however I please; I typically plan out goals I want to accomplish

Sketch out your creative routine. Is it enough? Not enough? If the latter, how do you maximize your creative time? And this, my friend, might be the fork in the road: do you need to shorten social activities to free up your schedule? That's not to say cut out friends, families, or partners. It's just might require saying "Nah, I can't right now but what about..." more often. Not the end of the world, though, right?

Note: for those lucky few who can have a functional social life *and* time to create artwork, kiss. my. grits.



"Concentrate on your pleasure, I told myself" is a quote from Phillip Roth's The Dying Animal, a story about an older (elderly?) professor who falls in love with his twenty-something-year-old student (not exactly original). It's one of those books my memory conjures in brief scenes, and not because my reading was bad; its pages served a purpose (being read). But oddly, that quote sneaks up on me whenever I'm in a creative pickle.

Epicureans - those who follow the philosophy of Epicureanism - believe, in some regard, that life's purpose is to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Seek pleasure. Avoid pain. Simple, right?

Groan. Seeking pleasure takes serious effort, especially artistic pleasure. For instance, give me a writing weekend in a desolate cabin and I'm all smiles. But it takes money, obviously, and vacation hours at work. Recently, my host gave me a harsh review on AirBnB, which is a separate eye-rolling story. Regardless, pleasure is also painful, work-wise. As I melt on my seat at my work station, prioritizing multiple creative projects (writing a memoir, composing music, doodling, journaling, co-organizing a benefit series, etc.), and trying to turn all of that work into a profit, my batteries are drained. What's going on?

Mapping It Out: So I wrote a list of all things pleasure-filling and pain-inducing. There were no surprises, but visualizing adds urgency to the wellness workout ahead. Ultimately, I discovered how my life decisions impact my creative energy. What are your pleasure/pain points? Here's where I'm at:

Again, seeking pleasure and the subsequent maintenance schedule - yes, most good things require planning - involve serious focus. So: "Concentrate on your pleasure, I told myself..." - The Dying Animal

Please join me at a new performance series I'm co-wrangling benefiting local nonprofits. We have an outstanding line up of writers, artists, and performers, and our debut series is supporting trans and queer people.

What: Fight For Our Lives: A Night of Performance Benefiting Trans and Queer People

Where: Hugo House

When: Thurs, January 23, 2020, 7pm-10pm

What: $10 suggested donation

Facebook event here.

The backstory: Mid-2019, there was plenty to be fed up about with our current Administration. Migrants and their children were/are targeted, who are still imprisoned. Then, LGBTQ rights were/are on the brink of being stripped (and still are on chopping block). Reproductive rights were/are threatened. Then the Jewish community is intimidated and harmed. What came out of the ugliness seen on the news every night was the urgency to do something — anything! Thus, a co-collaboration with writer Ruth Joffre began. It's a thrill to work alongside Ruth as we do our part for social justice and communities targeted by the 2020 election. And what a proper start to Wellness-ish-ness (kinda, sorta, most times), a blog about artistic wellness. Fight. On. Every Day.

Our Mission

Fight for Our Lives is a performance series advocating for communities targeted by divisive politics and systemic oppression (queer, trans, incarcerated, migrants, women, people of color).

By showcasing local artists, writers, and performers, our series also benefits mission-driven nonprofit organizations. Our goal is to connect nonprofit opportunities to audiences and artists across the Puget Sound area.

Fight for Our Lives is grassroots-led and time-limited until January 20, 2021—Inauguration Day.

D.A. Navoti

About the Writer

D.A. NAVOTI (@da.navoti) is a creative nonfiction and poetic prose storyteller. He's a 2020 Seattle CityArtist recipient and a former fellow at Hugo House and Jackstraw Cultural Center. Read More... 

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