How to Create Space for You in Your Hectic Life: Interview with a Mom | Part 4: Creating Space for You to Be YOU series | Summer Seedlings: This is just the beginning... | Acorn * Oak * Forest

How to Create Space for You in Your Hectic Life

Sometimes I like to (try to) put myself in your shoes. You, the reader. When I’m wearing your shoes, I’m a little skeptical about how to create space for you. In your shoes, I might be thinking:

“It’s great for you to talk about creating space for yourself, Monica. You’re married, without children. What do you know about the absolute lack of space experienced by parents?”

You know what? If you’re feeling skeptical, you’re right. If you think it’s easier for me, it probably is.

I also want you to think again. It is possible for you to create space for yourself too. To prove it, I decided it was time to share what one of you has to say about creating space for her own big dreams.

Jacque Kissack and I met online in a writing group for aspiring novelists. We quickly connected through our mutual love of writing and one another’s creativity. She started following my blog, and I started following her artwork (I have two of her pieces hanging on my wall at work.).

Making Space for Herself: Jacque Kissack

Jacque Kissack, artist at mypaperskies (2)Jacque is the single mother of two active children, a boy and a girl. She works full time, and family and friends are important parts of her life.  In addition to all that goes along with those things, she is a talented artist and writer who continues to foster her dreams of writing and illustrating her own books, with a long-term goal of supporting her family through her creativity.

Here’s what Jacque had to say about creating space for herself:

AOF: A few months ago, you shared a story on my “Life in Motion” post about the space you created in your life to work on your novel and how supportive your family was. It was so inspiring to me. Could you please share that story with us here?
JK: A couple of years ago I joined an online writing group and decided to make an honest attempt to actually write a complete novel. I’ve always kept previous attempts very secret, but since I had committed to this attempt I had to utilize every spare minute I could find. I wrote every time I found space. Lunch breaks at work, waiting for the kids to get out of school, during Taekwondo sessions sitting with the moms. I kept an hour after bedtime to enter what I had written into the computer. I obviously couldn’t keep what I was doing secret from the kids. A few month’s into the writing, my mother came for a visit, and out of the blue my son tells her, “Mom’s writing a book.” My mother didn’t even look at me or show any surprise, she just replied, “It’s about time.”
AOF: What are the greatest challenges you experience in maintaining that space?
JK: I am probably my own biggest obstacle. Working past my insecurities and doubts is so challenging. There are always so many things that need to be done. Housekeeping and yard work, home improvement projects, family commitments, earning a living, and most importantly parenting. No matter what I do I always feel like there is something else I should be doing. I am terrible at time management.  It seems that the more I have to do the less I get done. Then I spend more time feeling guilty about it than actually get things done.
AOF: What are the most effective strategies for you – both practical and mental/emotional/spiritual – to keep working toward your personal goal(s) amidst those challenges?
Create Space for You to Be You: Jacque creates physical space for herself at home and carries these notebooks with her everywhere for creativity on the go. | Summer Seedlings: This is just the beginning... | Acorn * Oak * ForestJK: Over the last couple of years I’ve tried a couple of different strategies to help me reach my goals. The most effective for me is to have a system of accountability. For example, in our writing group we were all sharing our word count daily, as well as asking each other for advice and giving encouragement. When the group just sort of dissolved, I really struggled to keep it up. I am still looking for a new group I feel comfortable with. I am also part of an art group I really enjoy, that fills that same need. I get the most enjoyment from other people reading my work, so it made a difference to pinpoint my motivation.
AOF: What advice would you give to someone who is just beginning to create that space for her/himself?
JK: To others just starting to try and make themselves space to reach for their goals, the first thing I would tell them is to be kind to themselves. You’ll have weeks, maybe even months, where you won’t make any progress towards your goals. You can’t give up on yourself. Your dreams are worth all the early mornings and late nights. They’re worth more than a sparkling clean house and a perfect yard, or even a hefty bank account. And when you succeed you’ll feel like the queen (or king) of the universe. At least that’s how I imagine I’ll feel when I succeed. And don’t forget, you need support. There are so many great groups out there, within your communities and online.
Jacque shares her work on Facebook @mypaperskies and in her Etsy shop at mypaperskystudio. I encourage you to check out her inspiring work!
What inspires you most about Jacque’s real-life story of creating space for herself?

Create Space for You: Start Today!

Move Your Mountain One Rock at a Time: A short ebook about epic change using the smallest of stepsI was honored a few months ago to have Jacque’s invaluable feedback as a beta reader for my first ebook, Move Your Mountain One Rock at a Time. It’s available free to anyone who wants to read more about 14 strategies to getting out of your own way and starting to live those big dreams in your life.
In the book, you’ll can read my own story of moving from stuck to space for me, and you’ll find out more about how I made the change using the 14 strategies I share in the book.
What will be your epic change? What small steps will you use? Find out today!

Click here to get your copy.

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4 thoughts on “How to Create Space for You in Your Hectic Life

  1. I’m trying to get back into writing myself but yes, it can be very hard. For whatever reason, I am struggling to really get any kind of a routine going this summer. And we’re down to the last month almost with a lot of time that is going to be spent getting ready for the school year (both my girls and mine). So yes, definitely having those struggles to find time to even start to write, to even think of what to write. I have joined a writing group but it’s more of a share and critique group than an accountability one (great once I write something but I need to write something first!).

    • Janeen,

      I hear you! I actually find that even though there’s more time (sort of) in the summer, it’s the worst time of year for me to get into routines. I definitely need routines to be able to write and really feel like I’ve accomplished something with it. The other challenge for me is also that I prefer to have a block of time (at least an hour or two) to really write. In reality, I only need 10-15 minutes to get something done; there’s something about a block of time though… it lets me get into a good flow that I can’t accomplish in a shorter time period.

      Anyway, my local writing group is the same – focused on feedback rather than accountability. I’ve considered an accountability partner, just one person with whom to share encouragement and support. I’m also looking at the possibility of a “mastermind group” for blogging, which includes some accountability components. Just some other ideas to consider regarding accountability if you feel that would help you…

      Thanks for the comment and the shared struggle! We are, indeed, not alone.

  2. Thank you for this insightful interview. We need more stories like this, from women in their own words. I remember well those years of juggling home-fire responsibilities, outside work, child care and quality time with the children, political activity (because I wanted a better world for my children and couldn’t sit on the sidelines) and all the stories running around in my head wanting out. I also experienced a good deal of depression in those days, which I know many women in similar situations struggle with on a daily basis. Still, I managed to keep my writing hand in, one way or another.

    I second Jacque Kissack’s admonition never to give up, no matter how long it takes, no matter how often you return to the story, artwork, song–whatever creative work heals the soul. Pick it up again. That return to attention adds up over the years and will pay off one day. Thank you, Monica, for publishing this. Thank you, Jacque Kissack, for finding energy and time to commit to your writing and your art, and thank you for sharing your very human story here.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment Kathryn! I think so many parents must have this experience – and your story confirms it – putting others first and putting off their dreams for themselves sometimes for days or longer. I have been so struck by Jacque’s commitment to her creative work, and I think that teaches her children something about filling your own cup so you have something beautiful to give to others. And I absolutely loved her mother’s quiet acceptance and support.

      Have a beautiful day!

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