I write music. A lot. I make creating a daily practice, as doing something is the only way to get better at anything.
There was a time in my life when my children were very little and time felt scarce and I did not imagine that my time could expand for everything that I needed or wanted to do. At that time, I started reading about how others made space in their busy lives to be present for their own goals whilst juggling the rest of life. This learning period changed the way that I go about my creative process, offering me new perspectives on how to get it all done, which have proven invaluable to my productivity over the years. I am sharing this with you here so that these tools might serve you. Time is the only resource that we cannot replenish. There are scientists working in the field of Longevity, Lifespan, and Healthspan who are trying to expand on what is currently possible. Still, time is finite. It is a precious resource. *I will include two books on that subject at the bottom of this post if you are curious about that. How we use our time is up to us. It can be intentional or unintentional, planned, intuited, passive, or active. The constants are that time will pass, and we can make intentional choices about how we approach the time that we have. I recently heard a quote that encapsulates the binary choice to move forward or stay static.
"We're either waiting, or we're creating" ~ Joe Dispenza, author
As a modern human being in the time that we live in, I am always looking at different ways to be fully present for what is important in my life, which includes the many facets of work, family, friends, personal care and development, communities, and more.
What I have learned over the years is that without a plan, it is not possible to get to everything that I need to do in order to accomplish my goal of being present for my whole life. If I don’t plan for it (whatever “it” is) I very likely will not get to it unless it is necessary, like eating or sleeping or doing something that someone else absolutely needs, because there are so many things vying for my time and attention. Opportunity cost is something that I am constantly weighing. “If I chose this, what will I have to leave out or deprioritize at this moment, only to prioritize it at another time? And when can that time be?” This is modern living. We all are juggling doing it all. In the digital age, we’re both empowered to do it all and oftentimes relegated to doing it all ourselves.
There are a handful of books that I am regularly recommending to my vocal and composition students, as well as to my friends and colleagues, for overcoming various obstacles and I thought I would share them with you here. Just in time for summer reading or road tripping (using audible) or whichever way you take in your books.
These five books offer new ways of looking at the creative process, and actionable tactics to getting more done at a higher level, and letting go of or overcoming boundaries within ourselves about taking creative risks and finding the time to put in the work required.
I hope that these books serve you and that you find support in their pages for being your most productive, freest creative self. If you have thoughts on these books, or books that you'd like to add to the discussion please leave a comment below.
Links to recommended books on Amazon "The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and With Your Inner Creative Battles" by Steven Pressfield "Decoding Greatness: How The Best In The World Reverse Engineer Success" by Ron Friedman "Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones"
Books on Longevity, Lifespan, and Healthspan "Lifespan: Why We Age, and Why We Don't Have To" by David Sinclair, PhD "Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity" by Peter Attia, MD