when spoons run out before the journal is done.

Journaling is something I try to do as a daily practice. Mostly because I am happier when I journal every day, when I am able to sit down and play with colors and textures and words. There are weeks where it is hard to make the time to do that, though. One thing about living with a chronic illness, which I do, is that you sometimes run out of spoons before you got your studio time for the day.

I recognize that it’s important to prioritize creative time, but I am also a parent who is responsible for a household. I homeschool a high schooler, drive her to ballet lessons a couple of times a week, I’ve got friends who I want to connect with, six cats to clean up after, and frankly, sometimes I just need to kick back with some yarn and watch some back episodes of V on my DVR. I don’t see that as wasted time, by the way. I spin a lot during my tv time. That’s when I knit, too.

Okay I’ll confess. Ya know, sometimes I just want to read something trashy like The Billionaire’s Baby Bonanza.

…okay, actually not so much with the baby bonanza book, but, I do like to read. And y’all, that is an actual title of an actual book I saw on the e-book site, recently… so obviously there is a market somewhere.


Last week was one of the challenging weeks in terms of energy levels vs. amount of stuff that wants to be done. I am having a somewhat unfun fibro flare. There was a lot of social stuff going on that I needed to show up for. As I get older, I am realizing that you need to show up for people’s stuff. It makes them feel supported and it lets them know that really, you care. That matters. I wish I’d grokked that sooner in life, but that’s another blog post for another day. I went to a daylong fiber workshop. Most of all, I wanted to spend some time with my partner, who I haven’t been seeing much of lately. He works crazy hours in the film world and sometimes our lives don’t mesh up for days at a time. The connection between us is crazy strong and flexible, but sometimes we need to put each other first and block out the world for a few hours.

Sunrise Mandala

It gets frustrating, all this living, and wanting to make art too. What do you do when it’s all a priority?

Daily Pages

I saw these daily drawing pages on Teesha Moore’s site recently and loved the idea. I’ve been putting that idea to use for the days that I am tired, the awful days when I’m too tired to sit at the art table and make. These little daily “what I did today” pages are kind of fun. They help me remember that I do actually get stuff done.

Wednesday's hand is full of surprises

I am really beginning to enjoy the prompts that other art journalers put up to help others get the inspiration moving. I really value them on the days when fibro has put me into the inevitable brain fog. For example, I’ve really been enjoying the prompts over at Angelia’s Art Journals. The hand (just above) was from a prompt she put up last Tuesday. And the little illustration of “home” is from her Wednesday’s Word prompt last week. Honestly? She and Teesha Moore saved my art-journaling butt last week.

So what do you do to kickstart the creative process? How do you keep yourself going on those days when life, energy, responsibility and the catboxes all team up to keep you from opening your journal?

About Maia Rainwood

Owner and Maker at Maia Rainwood Design. Wearable art for wise women, birth keepers, witches, and world-builders.
This entry was posted in art journal, gratitude, The Artist. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to when spoons run out before the journal is done.

  1. Kit says:

    Staying creative. Making my creative time and space a priority. Remembering that there is a me beyond my responsibilities. These are still things I struggle with- failed perfectionist firstborn….
    Thanks for the reminder!

    • Rainy says:

      You’re welcome! And it’s okay to do all that on whatever scale works for your life, you know? You don’t have to make big art. Make small art if that’s all the space you have. It’s still art!

  2. Marilyn says:

    I have similar issues with prioritizing so I can do creative stuff. A couple nights ago I got up in the middle of the night and wrote all the things I do on sticky notes, then I put them on a board, moved them around so I could have a visual of the priorities. I am sure they will get moved around again, but it just helps me to see it in front of me on my desk. I forgot to put snuggies with kitty, I better add that one.

  3. Cat says:

    I haven’t figured out the “when to journal” trigger that will work for me in a daily fashion, but I really like the “what I did today” drawings/pages. What a great inspiration!

    Sometimes it’s a matter of that elusive “free time.” Sometimes, I’m compelling to post a journal entry whether it’s the best use of my time or not. Nothing seems consistent yet. I’ll let you know if I think of anything useful! 🙂

    • Rainy says:

      I already tend to art journal in small spurts because if I wait for “free time” I don’t ever have any. So in the five minutes it takes to steep a cup of tee, or while I’m waiting for something to tumble in the dryer, or the kettle to boil, I will frequently go and work on a journal page. It’s the only way I really get things done consistently. But this does limit what I am doing in the journal.

      I honestly have more of a problem when I want to get in and get messy – the daily pages and little easy spreads are not as problematic. But the big stuff? The messy, takes hours of time, have to pull out lots of supplies, stuff? That’s where I find myself running out of spoons before I get to the studio.

  4. Lynda the Guppy says:

    Hey! I read that book! It was a freebie on Amazon for my Kindle and I was looking for something cheap and totally and completely mindless and fluffy. It was exactly what I got. An hour of total and complete escapist nonsense. LOL

    • Rainy says:

      yeah, I totes downloaded a whole bunch of those Silhouette freebies. Because yay, taco bell for my brain!

      Seriously though, I just want to tell these authors that really, out of wedlock babies are NOT going to make most billionaires reconsider the one night stand y’all had on his yacht. They will just make them remember the phone number for their L-A-W-Y-E-R.

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