How to schedule your creative work + the power of the moon cycle

Sep 29, 2020

In yesterday's letter, I announced I'll be writing letters to you everyday moving forward. 

Writing daily blog posts feels so alive and vibrant to me. It's exactly what I want to do, but I also have to admit that this idea brought up a very real concern.

As a creative person, I need to be discerning about the commitments I make, because burn out is a very real risk.

When I was starting out I used to jump into projects, announce them to the world, and then discover a month or two into it that my idea was a little too much work.

I would burn out from the project and then either massively scale back or drop it altogether.

This time, before I hit send on the announcement for my daily email, I set aside some time to ask myself an important question.

If I honestly wanted to do this, how could I both send a daily email AND not burn out on doing too much work.

The answer lay in an experiment I've been conducting for the past few weeks. 

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Have you ever gotten frustrated with the Gregorian calendar? 

This might seem like a tangential question, but trust me it is essential to the matter at hand, because a few weeks ago I hit my limit with the Gregorian calendar.

As a creative entrepreneur, I'm in charge of my own schedule. I decide what days I'm doing what and what time I'm available to work on my projects.

I try hard to keep a set schedule. I usually focus on my writing and my clients for 3 hours in the morning, and then I focus on my podcast and Facebook group for 3 hours in the afternoon.

My goal is to do this Monday thru Friday. This is a wonderful goal, but it never happens like that.

The trouble is that sometimes my menstrual cycle starts during the week and not on a weekend, and what I'm doing that day is laying around.

Also, sometimes creative ideas flow through me, and there's nothing I can do to stop them. So all of a sudden all my regular work will stop for a few days as I surrender to the flow and lovingly tend to what wants to be birthed.

And sometimes I don't want to stop working on a weekend. If I'm creatively energized, I love to create on a Saturday or a Sunday.

None of this is really a problem, except that according to The Four Tendencies, my personality type is wired for upholding systems. When I make a plan to do "x,y, and z" Monday thru Friday, I have a really hard time letting that go. 

This is one of my perpetual struggles as a creative. My relationship with time and schedules is just always a THING.

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Then a few week's ago I pulled a card from Bev Barnes' Soul's Calling Card Deck. The card asked this question: "What have you been coping with or tolerating for far too long?"

My jaw dropped. I knew in a flash I had been coping with and tolerating the Gregorian calendar weeks for far too long. Then I saw with total clarity what was really going on.

The trouble with how I had been planning my weeks was that "Monday" is a completely unpredictable entity. I don't know how I'll feel or what my creative energy will be like on a "Monday". I'm a new person EVERY Monday.

I spent a couple days ranting about the Gregorian calendar and how of course it's great for making plans to meet up with other people, but when it comes to solitary creative work it just stresses me the f* out! And I'm honestly totally sure that the Gregorian calendar is some patriarchal b.s.!!

So I decided to try an experiment. Moving forward, I was going to schedule all my creative work based on the moon cycle, and I then did that.

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I've been starting my creative cycles on every "Moon" day, ie the New Moon, Full Moon, or Quarter Moons. These are my Ritual & Reflection Days.

On a Moon Day I take a break from creating to check in with my energy. I feel into my creative projects. I ask myself a bunch of questions about how I'm really doing, and THEN I make a plan for the coming creative cycle.

My creative cycles run from the day after the Moon Day to the day before the next one. On that day I do Sacred Day of Rest. For example, the coming creative cycle looks like this:

Ritual & Reflection Day: The Full Moon on Thursday October 1.

Create Days: Friday October 2 - Wednesday October 7

Sacred Rest Day: Thursday October 8

Ritual & Reflection Day: The 3rd Quarter Moon on Friday October 9

It's a little bit scary, because it is so different than the deeply embedded ideas I have about how productivity should flow with the Gregorian calendar weeks, but amazing things are already happening.

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On the last New Moon I felt into how I was doing and what this creative cycle felt like. What came through was a deep desire to play. I needed a break from a set schedule. I wanted to play with writing ideas. I wanted to play with my business.

That creative cycle, I just kind of played around. Then I noticed a life coach was doing a free challenge. I would've normally not had time for it, but I was playing, so I figured why not!

That challenge was freaking powerful as f*. In one of the meditations I literally felt a huge piece of myself come out of shadow, and I was like holy crap, I know what I'm here to do!

And thus, The Confidence Booster Pack was born!!!!! I mean, can you believe it? That was ONE moon cycle!!!!

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Ok...so how does all of this tie into me not burning out while following my heart and writing daily letters? The answer is that you're all going to be on my moon journey with me!

In fact, tomorrow is the day before the Full Moon. It's my Sacred Rest Day, so my letter to you will be an act of rest. I'll share something somebody else created - like a book, blog, or podcast I love.

The Full Moon Ritual & Reflection is the next day. On that day you'll receive a reflection letter, where I'll send you a list of questions you can ask about your own creative energies.

As we move through the moon cycle, you'll probably notice my letters will have a tidal effect.

Right now, I have a ton of energy. I'm super excited about The Confidence Booster Pack, and I'm rearing to go. Thus, you're experiencing the high tide of long, luscious letters with all my realizations!

When I'm tired, and my energy wanes, especially towards the New Moon, you'll experience a gorgeous low tide of shorter letters, with more open space for reflection.

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This project of doing daily emails is so important to me, and what I now know is that because it's so important, it matters even more that I allow it to ebb and flow.

Instead of upholding a sense of productivity where I'll careen towards burn out by making myself write long, useful letters everyday, I'm learning how to uphold my natural creative flow.

We'll be on this journey together. You can absolutely feel free to begin creating with the moon cycles along with me. In fact, I encourage you to experiment with this, because it's so cool.

But even if the Moon doesn't call to you as strongly as it does to me, the important thing is to take some time to rest and reflect.

It's important to learn the natural ebb and flow of your Wildly Authentic creative cycle, so you can not only start writing your inspirational blog, but keep writing it.

xoxo,

Emma

P.S. In case you're wondering, I still use the Gregorian calendar whenever I need to make a plan with someone else. I also make sure to take time on everybody else's weekend to hang out and enjoy my family and friends when they're free. The important thing is that my creative life is free to flow with the moon cycle, even if it doesn't always match everyone else's schedules. #WildAuthenticity

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