How to Be Creative When Life Gets Hectic – Help! My Life Just Smothered My Creativity

768127_83871159Laundry has overtaken my living room, after school sports ran off with my A game, science fair projects have grown messy sidekicks, and tax season has left me with a pile of receipts that would make Congress proud.

Yep, your a mom, a dad, a writer. . .

Life has a way of smothering our creativity. I have four children, church responsibilities, volunteer activities, social media, you name it, it’s tried to crowd my life with chaos from time to time.

This isn’t a method of how to eliminate the chaos. If you find that, please let me know, you will be my new BFF.

We all need to find new ways to tame the chaos, or keep our creativity flowing when life is complicated beyond a personal assistant. . . as if writers can afford one of those. LOL! Here are a few tips that might help.

How to be Creative When Life Gets Hectic:

1. Remind yourself that chaos isn’t a permanent state. Sometimes it feels as if chaos will never go away. But we still have some down time in the ebb and flow of chaos. Maybe it is only the thirty minutes after the kids fall asleep, or the doctor appointment for only you. Use that time for the small parts of the writing journey that can be done in small amounts. Brainstorming for a scene, a blog, a character, etc.


2. Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. We are not the only people in the world who can do something right. Sometimes it is easy to take on more than we need to and it actually can be counterproductive for those around us who miss the opportunity to grow.

Letting your oldest child make dinner once a week is a great way to help them develop life skills. It may need to start with some teaching, but eventually they will have a set of recipes they can make. 

3. Find a quiet time to sit with nothing going on around you. Stories are written on a blank page, but we forget that the ideas are written on a blank slate in our mind. If you have no time with no input, it crowds out the brain’s ability to create stories.

4. Quit trying to multitask your writing. Wait a minute, didn’t I just say earlier to multitask small writing components? Yes. But this is not the main bulk of your writing time.

A few days ago I asked my husband if he would take one hour of time each night to play with the kids. During this time I would write. No one can bug mommy during this time. I spend lots of other time with my kids. It is important for them to see me chase my dream.

At first I felt guilty about this, but if I always take my resting time to write, I never have time to sleep.


5. Feed your artistic muse. Whether it is watching Castle or visiting the art museum in town, find things that feed your need for artistic beauty. It will add richness to your scenes.

HOW do you stay creative when life gets hectic?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

7 thoughts on “How to Be Creative When Life Gets Hectic – Help! My Life Just Smothered My Creativity

  1. I so admire writers who have children at home. I honestly don’t know how you find time to write.

    One way I stay creative–I write on my iPhone. I don’t always have a note pad, but guess what I do have. lol. There may be another app, but I usually use the note pad to capture those odd thoughts, overheard conversations…

  2. Great tips, as always, Michelle!

    Here’s a silly little thing I sometimes tell myself: I am a storyteller. I am creative. Whether I feel like it or not. There are things I can do to feed my creativity–like many of the things you mentioned–but sometimes I just have to tell it to myself like it is. I am creative. For these 15 free minutes or these blessed six free hours, I am creative. And then I force my creativity to go to work.

    I know, sounds ridiculously. Haha!

    Another thing that helps me stay creative is working out–because I’d much rather think about my story than how much my legs are dying when I’m doing lunges. Haha! I always do feel a burst of creative energy after workouts, too. And I will admit to sometimes stopping halfway through so I can jot ideas down before going back… 🙂

    • Michelle Lim says:

      It works, Melissa. Sometimes we just have to remind ourselves of who God created us to be! And there is nothing like an elevated heart rate to get us thinking of everything but the next mile. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Elizabeth Bohan says:

    Since I am a writer and artist,my creative juices flow quite a bit. I might buy some small item, or find an item in my house or on the beach or where ever, then I begin from that one thing to let my mind go. It has worked for me each time. I now have a green plastice index card holder that has stories, characters and bits and pieces of future projects to keep me busy for a long time. My real challenge is focus and sitting down to get the things in my brain to the paper.

  4. Michelle Lim says:

    Thanks everyone for sharing your ideas!

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