Stolen Time, from Tara Sophia Mohr

One of my intentions with this blog is to help you become more powerful. You may have noticed my tagline near the blog title — “Be powerful. CREATE!” Of course the kind of power I’m talking about is personal power, not over anyone else.

I try to fulfill that intention in a number of ways. One is by talking about creative process. I never want someone to get discouraged from trying things because they think that creativity is easy, or that quilts are created wholecloth out of my brain. (HA! Do you see what I did there?) They aren’t. They are hard. Struggling with design, with process, with finding solutions to color or size or shape is part of creativity. If you KNOW that, you know it’s okay for you to struggle, too.

Another aspect of becoming more powerful is in realizing where your strengths lie. My recent post UZURGFT encourages you to identify your gifts, accept them fully, explore and stretch them, and share them with others.

Today I want to share another blog with you, this one by Tara Mohr. I’ve recently started reading from this wise, lovely woman’s blog. In yesterday’s post she talks about writing on stolen time. She says,

And suddenly I became part of a great legacy of women who had been stealing bits of time, writing at kitchen tables instead of desks, scribbling notes whenever they could, and most of all writing anyway.

Writing anyway.

Painting anyway. Composing music anyway. Dancing anyway. Working on their callings and dreams and labors of love anyway. Fill in the line for you. What is life asking you to attend to, in stolen bits of time?

We aren’t always able to devote large chunks of time to our projects. But if you wave your hands and decide you can’t be creative because you don’t have time, you give away part of your power. You let other forces decide for you, if you will create. Or NOT.

Be powerful. CREATE. Use the time you have. It, too, is a gift, even when it is in bits and pieces. Like the scraps and patches that create our quilts, our time, too, can be stitched together to create something of beauty. And that beauty is not just in our quilts, but in ourselves.

18 thoughts on “Stolen Time, from Tara Sophia Mohr

  1. lorene holbrook

    I have been thinking about this a lot. I bounce around all over the place 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there. sometimes it is hard to see what I have accomplished. I have a HQ16. it was gifted to me, and I will always be grateful to the sweet lady who gave this to me. However, I hate loading a quilt. it seems to take forever. so what happens, no quilts get on the frame, and I keep making tops! not good. sooooo, I have decided to put a quilt on as soon as I finished one. then I can take these stolen moments to quilt a row, turn it off – and not feel guilty – and go do something else. that has given me peace of mind. my little stolen moments add up to a finished quilt. that is a very good thing! love the blog today!!! thanks…..

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks, Lorene. the last couple weeks I’ve been in waving-my-hands mode, acting as if I can’t do anything because I can’t carve out bigger chunks of time. I KNOW that’s not true. šŸ™‚

      Sounds like you’ve found the key to getting your tops quilted. Thanks so much for offering that personal story. I know we all have them.

  2. treadlemusic

    Precisely!!!! And that is exactly why my sketch book is never far from where I am………spontaneous creative doodling results in such wondrous outcomes…..and even if not (personal eval.!) it still holds immense satisfaction!!!!!!!!

  3. Kathy Aho in MInnesota

    Wonderful post. I am so glad to have learned this also from my mom. She had four kids and a farm to help run and her own hobby time was limited. She always said you have to MAKE time here and there to be creative. SO true!

  4. Thread crazy

    Great post – I couldn’t agree with you more. Our biggest obstacle is making that first move to create. I’m like you, some days I get so frustrated when I don’t get to sew; then when I think I have time, it’s too late and I’m too tired! By the way you would make a good motivation speaker!!

  5. Nann

    Thanks for another thoughtful post, Melanie. My to-do list is indispensable these days. I would say that I am failing retirement but these are activities that I have volunteered to do and they are ultimately satisfying. I do purposely plan time to quilt — not in a write-it-on-the-calendar way, but in a “this evening I will work on….” As much as I want to be quilting, on these beautiful summer days I do not want to be downstairs in my basement studio.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Yes, I’ve been enjoying the summer very much, and not much time put into quilting. You’re right, the basement studio is too enclosed and too far away right now. But my brain is busy, as I’m sure yours is.

  6. KerryCan

    This is such an important reminder–little bits of time DO add up and become powerful. I’ve read about women setting aside a block of time to do their “stint,” of stitching or weaving or quilting, a promise to oneself that at least *this much* will get done every day. I did that myself when I was working on a recent quilt, along with all the others things I needed to do, and it worked!

  7. Elizabeth E.

    I had a quote I kept on my computer while in grad school for my writing degree. It referenced the idea of writing in slices of life, a bit at a time, and noted that writing this way made us different writers than those who had great extended chunks of time to draw from. Not better or worse. Different. How lovely to be reminded of this again!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I think it is different to use small pieces of time. Sometimes it is easier, other times harder. I’ve been doing a significant amount of rewriting recently. Frankly, I can only handle that a little bit at a time!

      But on the bigger notion, there are so many things we can do a little bit at a time. Housekeeping … šŸ™‚ But also our creative pursuits. And indeed our relationships can be nurtured that way. Only have 3 minutes? Send a quick email (or jot a note in a real card!) just to tell a friend you were thinking of them. Touching base doesn’t need to be a big production, but it helps make the glue stick.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I do enjoy your blog quite a bit.


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