Time: making do when you can't make perfect / by daintydora

Last week I had some deadlines. Creative deadlines for things I really wanted to do - like writing a story for a competition and completing my first collage for the newly formed #collageclub with my #BWP friends. Instead of being able to immerse myself in the creative realm and embrace the rich seam of ideas that came my way (ideas, always, all the time), I felt strangled by responsibilities - going to work, keeping appointments, keeping a semblance of order on the home front.

The more I tried to clear a path to the magical time of creation and freedom from the mundane tasks of every day, the more 'stuff' came at me and I felt exhausted and frustrated with the effort of trying to keep up.

In the midst of this I decided to just let it all go; not bother to enter the competition I had so wanted to enter; submit my collage another time, later, not now, forget it.

I felt disappointed - in myself - and like I had let myself down somehow. Real life had won out over the alchemy of creation and flow and self expression. Perhaps there was a sense of relief too, as I had given myself 'permission' to give up my self-imposed deadlines?

Deflated, I continued with my collage anyway. And I finished it in time. How did that happen?

By not worrying about whether I did it or not, I just did it.

And although I really didn't have time to write a decent 1000-word story for the competition, I re-read the entry guidelines and realised I could submit a poem instead. And once this realisation sunk in, a poem started forming in my mind.

I began to scribble it down and all of a sudden the magic just started to happen and I had something to work with and it wouldn't be perfect or polished, but it would be something, and I would be able to enter the competition after all and by doing so I wouldn't feel like I had completely failed. At the eleventh hour I would meet these goals despite myself.

And I did.

Here is my collage.

Here is my quick-fire, hastily-written poem for the Scottish Book Trust competition, on the theme of 'Home'.

My favourite lines:

...My night, my sky -

high above

the Glasgow Clyde...

It may not be a winner, it may not be perfect, but it was the best that I could do, at the time.

It exists, it's out there, and by submitting it I felt not only pleased that I had managed to take part after all, but truly that it is the taking part that counts.

See what you can do in the time you have when you don't have time.

And if you are in any way creative, this video says it all: