THE SJSU MA DIARIES

  • Jessica Te

Carry On

Pursuing passions through good and bad.


Pursuing a hobby is difficult enough without having to deal with day-to-day distractions and responsibilities. Throughout the holidays, my journaling time has been constantly postponed for other activities (going out for dinner, meeting with friends and family, shopping, and taking unnecessarily long naps after food comas).


Maybe your plans can’t wait, but your passions shouldn’t have to either. Without any personal time, your hobby can practically fade out of your life. The longer you take a break from a routine, the more difficult the routine is to reestablish. (Don’t get me started on getting back into gym routines.)


Life will always interfere with your “me” time, but here are a few small tips to help you persevere with your hobbies and good habits.


1. When in doubt, build a “you” space.


Give yourself the opportunity for inspiration to strike by creating a space or a time for it.


Designate a desk for art. Clear out a room for your home gym. Choose a space at your local coffee shop to write your stories. Give yourself a safe space where you can escape your daily life to focus on your activity.


If space isn’t accessible to you, then designate a time for pouring your focus into your hobby. Are you an early bird or a night owl? If you have a 9 to 5 job, then maybe your “you” time is in the late hours of the night. If you’re an early riser, then maybe your time is during the early wakes of the day.


Of course, if you can discover both your where and your when, then even better!


2. Productivity ≠ Creativity.

Many people associate productivity with creativity; however, these ideas often oppose each other. Countless times my favorite ideas came up when I was doing the dishes. Shower thoughts are insightful, random ideas that people think about while showering. Inspiration can come from doing absolutely nothing at all.


Identify ways that you can zone out and let your mind relax. Take a walk. Do the laundry. Clean your room. Take a hot shower. Cook yourself a meal. Let your body relax and go on autopilot. Allow your mind to wander.


3. Live one day at a time.

In the face of discouragement, live in the now.


Anyone can survive a single day, but it’s more difficult to survive over what feels like an eternity. There will always be more work to do, there will always be things you don’t understand, there will always be unpleasant people, and there will always be new responsibilities.


Looking into the past can bring regrets and uncertainty, while looking into the future can bring unpredictability and anxiety. However, hardships and obstacles are a natural part of the creative journey.


“It is not the experience of today that drives men mad,” explains Richmond Walker in his novel, Twenty-Four Hours a Day, “It is the remorse or bitterness for something which happened yesterday or the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us therefore do our best to live but one day at a time.


These tips are from a novel about persevering in creativity called Keep Going by Austin Kleon. Kleon is one of my favorite authors and has heavily inspired my creative hobbies. His books are easy-reads, and I highly recommend them for anyone searching for inspiration in their life.


Commit to your passion, then just keep it going.


[All images by Steal Like An Artist and Keep Going by Austin Kleon.]