Jenny Rusby offers advice to creative mothers

As you will remember, Jenny Rusby is a lifestyle, storytelling and documentary photographer based on the Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne, Australia.  She is a wife and the mother of three children, ages 6, 4 and 18 months.

During my recent interview with her, I asked if she had any advice to offer to creative mothers.  This is what she had to say, “…to take 10 min everyday to do something creative for yourself.  Especially on those crazy hard and long days, those are the days that you’ll need it the most. It’s so easy to put ourselves as mothers last, and often it’s our creative passions that get left behind in the daily chaos. For me, photography is my sanity and leaving the dishes to pile up and taking 10 min out to pick up my camera and make an image, even a bad one, makes me feel alive again.”

I whole-heartedly agree with her.  So many times our creativity gets pushed aside while we are busy tending to everyone else’s needs.  We forget to take care of ourselves. I’ve seen that happen with my own creativity.  I kept pushing it aside until the ideas just don’t come anymore.  If I did get a random creative thought, I automatically thought, “Oh, I can’t do that now” or “I can’t take that on right now.  I can’t take time away from my family and kids.”

But, 10 minutes a day… that is doable.  That reminds me of what Austin Kleon says in “Show Your Work!”:  “Forget about decades, forget about years, and forget about months.  Focus on days.  The day is the only unit of time that I can really get my head around. Seasons change, weeks are completely human-made, but the day has a rhythm.  The sun goes up; the sun goes down.  I can handle that.”  We can all handle that.  Just a few minutes everyday will add up to quite a lot over time.

Today, I challenge you to take just 10 minutes to do something creative.  Take a photo with your iPhone, doodle on a scrap piece of paper, jot down a few words.  If nothing else, read for a few minutes or just sit and listen.  Listen to the locust outside your window or your kids arguing/playing downstairs or the television that’s on in the next room.  The ideas will eventually begin to flow.

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