Creating in Daily Life

Your 24-7 Coach


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Art cannot be separated from life. We live embedded in humanity, with families, friends, colleagues, communities, and societies that influence us. Most of us have causes we believe in, spiritual practices we follow, and hobbies and interests unrelated to our creative arts. A world of distractions surrounds us.

And even if we can shut all of that out of our minds and environments, as human beings we have trouble stepping aside from ourselves.

You are always you, I am always me. I am a product of my family and my culture, which have influenced every aspect of me, from my self-doubt and self-identity to my blind spots and anxieties. All of which also influences my creative drive.

“Thus, at the point when his great talent was to become evident [at the publication of Notes from the Underground], Dostoevsky was pursued by creditors, his wife was dying, and he was carrying on a love affair with a young girl. His journal had been closed down by the censors, and he was fatally pursuing his self-destructive passion for gambling.” –, © 1998, accessed 21 May 2011

Clearly, if we are to respond to the urge to create, we have to make it a normal part of life. If we wait until we buy a house with an extra room, or until our children are grown, or until our health improves … we risk cheating ourselves and the world of the work only we can do.

Each life is of course unique, and everyone must find a unique way to adapt, but if we are driven to create, I believe we should welcome, value, and explore the urge. The level of commitment it takes is often huge, and most people don’t make the effort. Untold numbers of would-be creative artists produce only sporadically, when inspiration strikes, and others try to shut themselves away from the world, courting stagnation.

So how do productive artists navigate the distractions of life and self in order to keep showing up to connect with the work? This column, Your 24-7 Coach, will focus on just that, answering your questions and offering tools and techniques all of us can use to coach ourselves.

Create every day!