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I am lucky enough to have the sort of day job that gives me the summer off. However, it has the downside of not exactly being the most creative of jobs, or one that is anything like the numerous creative pursuits I adore. So I’m not going to go into what I do to pay my rent and bills. Instead, what has me flummoxed is how do you create on a part time schedule? I’m good when I’m off during the summer, but how to I keep creating once I’m back to the grind? How do I know where to start when I do have time off?

In searching for tips and information, I’ve come across several interesting articles including this list of 25 things. But aside from encouraging creativity and talking about time management, there is no one foolproof way to, say, write a book while you work 9-to-5.

Working a job you don’t love ain’t easy, and these ladies know it!

Part of my trouble is wanting to do too many things. I’m blogging, writing a novel, working on my guitar skills, learning how to spin yarn (more on that tomorrow!), and dabbling with ideas and sketches that may become my first venture into the world of webcomics. It’s all very exciting and very difficult to keep track of what I “should” be working on.

I’ve also learned “should” is a nasty, nasty word.

See, with my day job, I have gobs of “shoulds” that pretty much define what I’m supposed to do all day. There are deadlines and expectations that my boss holds me to. But right now, working on creative things part time, I don’t have a single “should” that is imposed by another person. I am utterly free to do as I please, to try anything. It’s kind of exhilarating.

I’ve come to the conclusion that as long as I’m doing something, creating something, I’m doing alright.  As far as prioritizing what creative things I do, well…if I enjoy it, I keep doing it. If I don’t, I jump to something else. Perhaps that sounds like a bad way to get things done. But if you don’t love what you’re doing with the hours (or summers) you have free, then what’s the point?

I’d love to hear from anyone else on how they manage being creative and having a vastly different day job. Or drop me a tip in the comments!