Creative Deadlines

The Headless Horseman rode last night — thanks to the deadline of Halloween.

I woke up with a dent in my forehead.  It comes from dressing up as the Headless Horseman for Halloween last night.  Turns out it’s tricky to make your head disappear, ride a cardboard horse, and balance a 10-lb. pumpkin in one hand while chaperoning children along the dark streets.  But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

This is a joyous, creative time of year for me as I help my kids transform themselves into their dreams-of-the-moment, and frantically stitch, glue and strew bits of fabric and cardboard about the living room floor.

An hour before trick-or-treating started, I was on my hands and knees painting on my horse’s eyes and nostrils and attaching a yarn mane.  That explains why my steed’s red eyes were still glistening when we set out.  Hopefully the wet paint sheen only added to the overall effect.

Even though our family starts dreaming up costumes a month before, it’s inevitably a mad dash at the end.  It’s simply hard to squeeze all those creative ideas into the time it actually takes to make them come to life.

Halloween is marvelous because it offers a concrete, creative deadline.  Every costume must be done by 5pm on October 31.

We need to extend these types of creative deadlines to our lives.  How many books do we want write?  How many paintings, poems or other creations?  When will we take the time to make our creative ideas come to life?    Because that’s what it’s all about.  Bringing our ideas to life in the short lifetimes we have.  We may leave scraps of cardboard on the floor, and neglect other parts of life (“mom, we’re out of Cheerios”), but we will have created something.  Something that gives us fulfillment.  Something that brings others joy.

How do you set deadlines for yourself to set aside time for creative projects?  Have you been able to stand by your rules?  What’s stopping you from seriously bringing your ideas to life?

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2 Responses to Creative Deadlines

  1. Deidra Gorgos says: