Rhythm & Rules

Dancing to a new beat.
Since becoming an entrepreneur, (me! an entrepreneur! wow.) at the beginning of June, I've been struggling to find my creative rhythm. While working in the corporate world I forced my creative rhythm into my employer's schedule. Now with full control of the on/off switch of how & when to work the lights have been flickering rapidly on & off at Jessie Marie Studio.

The piece of my day that throws a wrench into most anything I've learned from Tony Schwartz, Todd Henry & other work energy experts is a certain blonde 2-year-old. You have to expect the unexpected as a Mommy Freelancer. And the unexpected doesn't always fall into a nice, neat rhythm. The following questions had to be answered: What will my new creative cadence be? And how will my sweet Cadence join in on the new beat?

I entered into my summer quarterly retreat with with these questions as my main focus. Old systems had carried over from my time in the corporate world. I never knew anything else. Conflict & struggle of what to do & when resulted daily. Mommy Freelance world is different. Much different. I had to start over. New rules were needed.
After an in depth reflection of the first six weeks as a Mommy Freelancer I created some new rules:

1. Ditch my Daily Record Sheet
2. Add a simple notepad that holds my to do list for the day
3. Open gubb (project manager) & iCal (schedule) in the morning, review often
4. Fully engage with Cadence for 30 minutes, then work on my personal agenda for 30 minutes
5. Only guarantee myself 2 hours of work time during Cadence's nap 
(I was trying to cram my 8 hour corporate day into Cadence's 2+ hour nap. Opps.)
6. Pre-plan what I will do during those 2 hours during Super Why! in the morning (go PBS!)
7. Move quiet time out of work time

After week one of creating these new habits I have worked less hours, but have accomplished more. Funny how that works. I must be finding my creative cadence with Cadence's help.


Embrace the Process

"You are not a creativity machine. Remember that creativity is rhythmic." -Todd Henry

I don't sweat when I'm working. Well, unless I'm nervous. Yet design work is hard. 

When using your brain to crank out awesomeness you need a plan. My Professional Plan Maker is Todd Henry, the founder & CEO of Accidental Creative, a consultancy that helps creative professionals generate brilliant ideas. And he just published his first book - The Accidental Creative: How To Be Brilliant At a Moment’s Notice. I received my pre-ordered copy over the weekend. 

Unfortunately, I wasn't the first one to crack it open. Cadence was.

Because of creative habits Todd taught me; ie. unnecessary creating, strategic ideation, purposeful stimulus, daily recording, quarterly retreats and more; I have recently accomplished the following:

- Finished the children's book Adventures with Ranger Roy: Acadia National Park
- Started thinking about another book for the Adventures with Ranger Roy series
- Quit my corporate job & went 100% freelance
- Became a stay-at-home mom

You too can embrace the process of creativity & watch your distant dreams come into focus. 

Wanna know more?
Check out this video about the book:
The Accidental Creative: How To Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice from Accidental Creative on Vimeo.

Or listen to this podcast.

And finally, just buy it. You won't be disappointed.