When You Want What You Want
But Can’t Have It


Typically, I don’t start writing my blog posts or newsletters until I’ve got a clear idea of what I want to say. I ruminate for a few days before I write, and then, when I finally hit on my “hook,” I get started–and not before then.

Perhaps that sounds simple or obvious, but it’s the way I write my newsletters–therefore, it’s my newsletter writing process.

I’ve only started to notice my newsletter writing process because lately, I haven’t been able to use it, and that’s made it challenging for me to write anything at all.

In fact, in the last month or so, I’ve actually missed a week or two, which is highly unusual for me. (Okay, I was sick too, but still.)

And because I can’t change the nature of my schedule (at least for now), I’d like to find a way to adapt my writing process to my situation.

And this got me thinking about you.

If you’re trying to make room for your creative dreams and are having a hard time of it, maybe it’s because it doesn’t feel like you can “do your thing” the way you normally do it, or the way you used to do it, or the way you’d prefer doing it.

Maybe you like to work undisturbed for hours, but you can’t carve out a big block of time in your current busy schedule. And if you can’t do it that way, you think, “Why even start?”

Or maybe you feel like you need lots of privacy to create, but your home and your family aren’t designed that way and you feel too exposed to dig in.

This is challenging. And the funny thing is, this kind of block/thought can live underneath your own radar–it can be holding you back without your consciously realizing it.

Which can make it hard to fix.

However, once you are aware of it, then things can shift.

(Less Than) Ideal Conditions

The thing is, it’s a two step process:

  • you have to realize what you’re thinking/believing AND
  • you have to be willing to let it go.

This second part can be hard. Because maybe you’re pissed about not being able to follow your natural process. You WANT 4 or 5 hours in one solid block dammit.

Or you WANT to be able to work on something for longer than 5 minutes without 10 people hunting you down because they’re hungry or because they can’t find something they need right this second as they look down at your work and carelessly say, “What’s that?”

You want that. Is that so wrong?

No, it’s not.

And yet, it’s also getting in the way because the stars are not aligning to make your that happen.

So if this is you–if you realize that you aren’t creating because conditions are not ideal, then you’re probably going to have to let that attachment go in order to start creating. To be the artist you are.


But you can take your time about it. Feel free to be huffy, grumpy and out of sorts for a while.

And while you’re huffy, just consider letting it go. And when the huff dies down a little, maybe express it in words–privately in your diary, or out loud over coffee with your best friend, or to the guilty parties directly–”can you guys PLEASE give me some time to myself?”

And as you let yourself both be upset and consider the possibility of other options, your resistance will start to shift. A solution may pop up out of nowhere–maybe it suddenly feels okay to ask your loving family not to look at what you’re working on because it makes you self-conscious, or you feel more willing to try using the 20 Minute Technique and set yourself a lower bar for what you might accomplish in one sitting.

Now that I’ve figured out what’s impeding my writing, I’m asking myself, “How can I adapt so I can get back on track?”

What other way can I write my newsletters when I seem to have no space in my brain for another new thought?

How can I transition between disparate tasks in ways that work for me?

Or could I adapt in another way, and change my writing schedule instead?

What do I want for myself and how can I make it happen?

And so I ask you too:

What do you want for yourself and how can you make that happen?

Big Hugs! -Sarah

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  1. Tina Tierson says:

    Hi Sarah! What a great post! As an independet contractor, at-home medical transcriptionist I never know what my day will hold. Sometimes I can work as little as four to five hours and other tims as many as 10 or 12! And so, yes, I get mad that I can’t even set a regular schedule and get working with my beads or play with Photoshop! Consequently, I accomplish very little of what I enjoy doing, if anything! Thanks for this great reminder! I’ll definitely try letting the resentment go and accept that working for only 10 or 20 minutes may be enough on that particular day! Big hugs back!

  2. Sarah says:

    Thank you! And oh boy, yes, it can be so frustrating to have such a fragmented schedule! But yay for 10 or 20 minutes with your beads or Photoshop–it all does really add up!

  3. cheri stripling says:

    I just love you to pieces! You always write exactly what i need to hear. thank-you a million times over:)

  4. Sarah says:

    You’re welcome Cheri! Thanks for letting me know it’s resonating with you. :-)

  5. Nancy Aikins says:

    You just hit on exactly what my issue is– again! I really appreciate you and your insights!

  6. Debera Dowell says:

    What a great post, It expresses what I think we can all feel at times when we have something inside that is screaming to be expressed and our little world won’t allow us the time to develope it whatever it may be. I have found it very helpful to make notes and doodle drawings whenever this happens so when I do have time to develope it I have a jumping off point. before I started doing this it seems like I would have all these great ideas and yet when I would have golden moments of time I couldn’t remember a thing or at least not with great definition or perspective. Sooooo, I am never without a tablet ever. because even when I don’t have time to develope it I am still allowed to begin the creative process and that release keeps me from being angry and sad about my schedule. In fact it seems to raise my level of excitement and commitment and it puts me on my schedule in a way that is important, I also have considered my art as a business because it lends itself more to fitting into my schedule, remember the government considers a business anything that intends to create a profit not necessarily anything that does. ha ha . at least in the beginning. big hugs have a great weekend.

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