20 Minute Club Minutes-The Art of Listening


Seeking some much needed balance, I spent the last week slowing down and re-framing my definition of what = “productive enough” when it comes to my fledgling business.

This involved shortening my to-do list for each day, acknowledging and respecting small victories, and making more room for the things that rejuvenate me–like making things.

Having taught my second beta test on Monday night, I had a few more almost-finished collages to work with. And feeling so tired, I was thankful to have work to respond to rather than having to start from scratch.

So that’s what I did. I responded and engaged with several almost-finished pieces and actually finished a few. It felt good. I like listening to my artwork and trying to give it what it needs–to help it be what it’s supposed to be.

And I like how when you get close to finishing something, you often have to listen over time–to keep walking by your projects and wonder what they want/need in order to be “done.”

When I do that, the ideas that suddenly pop into my head are almost always surprises and feel like rewards for staying present–for stopping in on my artwork for a few minutes here and there and paying attention to it until it’s done.

Short visits can reap big rewards–it’s not all about the marathon sessions.

Did someone say 20 minutes?


(As most of you know, I like to add 5 self-appreciations to the 20 Minute Club Minutes each week because a critical part of keeping (or building) your creative momentum is honoring yourself, your process and getting on your own side.

And if you feel uncomfortable with the idea of overtly appreciating yourself, well that’s even more reason to start doing it! I hope you join me.)

Here’s my five for this week:

  1. I appreciate that I allowed more balance into my week and gave myself rejuvenation I sorely needed.
  2. I appreciate how I’m honing my ideas for my collage tele-class.
  3. I appreciate my increased faith in my own creative problem-solving skills.
  4. I appreciate my becoming more comfortable not having all the answers or solutions even when I can see the questions or weak spots in something I’m working on.
  5. I appreciate how I had new glimpses/moments of greater understanding about the role of self-acceptance in the quest for self improvement.

Your Turn

How about you? How was your creative week? Any plans for creativity this long weekend? If you’re traveling, can you bring something in the car with you? I’d love to hear.

Bookmark and Share
Categories : 20 Minute Club, Collage


  1. paula lewis says:

    Thank you for this lovely reminder that a work can wait – breaks and re-visits are good for the muse. I have been doing this myself. You’ve encouraged me to stay on this productive track.

  2. Teresa says:

    Love your blog – simple, to the point, and inspiring. Helps me know I’m not alone in just gradually doing things. It helps me trust the process, that gradually, things actually get done, get said, get transformed. Thank you.

  3. Today I posted a work I had in progress for quite a while. It was both a relief, a joy and that moment of agony, just before I was finished, because I was having to *LISTEN*.
    I kept thinking, it needs something more colorwise.
    *IT* kept saying, just warm up my color and leave me alone! Please! Get me done and walk away!!!
    It is funny how we really need to listen to our art and to get away from it and come back refreshed.


  4. Joyce Barham says:

    Listen is a very good point. Slowing down is good, too. I’ve let my baby quilt ‘rest’ so I could ‘listen’ to it. This week, I have completed the quilting. Now, the quilt is resting for a few days while I contemplate the binding. I intend to finish the binding this weekend.

    I have a string quilt just hanging on my design wall. It needs to be finished by September, so I have time for it to ‘rest’ while I figure out where to go next. It spoke to me and told me to stop worrying about sashing that it didn’t need more than an outside border and binding. Now, to figure out how to quilt it. I’ll wait another few weeks before I tackle the quilting.

    I always have more than one project started at a time, so I can switch if I hit a wall, etc. I am going to do 2 small things next…a wall hanging and a pillow. That will ease any pressure or stress that may arise about starting something new after a large project is finished. The ‘baby’ quilt turned out to be a floor quilt or crib quilt. It is 50″ x 50″. I’ll post pictures soon.

    I appreciate that I was able to retire early and have time for my creativity.

    I appreciate that I don’t have to rush around to finish something that turns out to be ‘not quite right’ because I pushed myself into hurrying to the finish line.

    I appreciate that I will be able to work with my granddaughter this summer on new works. We are working on drawing a forest that I will turn in to a fiber collage. We are also working on designing a quilt. I’m really looking forward to this.

    Thanks a lot, Sarah. I am enjoying my journey much more since I have put some of your suggestions to use. Also, thank you for those who write in. I appreciate your writings, too.

Leave a Reply