I had a dream the other night. I think it might matter.
In the dream I am teaching people something in someone’s apartment. Not a place I recognize, but full of people I know. I am teaching on creativity or writing or something that I’d love to teach in real life.
I am being a real hard-nose. Pushing. Stressing to these friends of mine that you cannot neglect your creative core. You cannot let her die. You cannot sit and watch him starve.
There are protests about time. The lack of time for pursuits of passion. I persist. You make time for the things that matter, I say. I talk about someone I read about online recently and how she works her creativity for at least an hour every single day. How if you just give your creativity an hour every day you will grow like you wouldn’t believe. You may even master it. You will at least keep it thriving.
One of my friends storms out of the room. Not loudly, but in silent tears. I follow. Or I am suddenly somehow in the next room, in the way that dreams transverse physics.
She cries angrily at me that she cannot give that time. An hour a day may sound easy for some, but for her its impossible. She has a baby.
I understand. Dear God, how I understand. But I’m firmer in the dream than I’d dare be in real life. We settle on 15 minutes. She can give just 15 minutes. Every day. No matter what. That will be enough. Her creative spirit can thrive with even 15 short minutes daily oxygen.
I remember this dream more vividly than others. Which is strange because it’s more boring. Less fanciful. In fact, I think it’s true.
Some of this may have come from a podcast from Tim Ferris on nueroscience. They talked about regularity - even regular actions that are brief - being important for lasting change.
Some of this may have come from my recent switch from an hour long workout program I couldn’t maintain to a 15 minute workout program I’ve been able to make time for.
Who knows where dreams come from. But I’ll take from it what I can.
Maybe you are that tearful friend today, protesting that you just don’t have time to give your creative self. No time to write new poems or new songs or paint new paintings or take new photos. No time to dance or sketch of sculpt. No time to read.
Can I be so bold - as bold as in dreams - and tell you that even 15 minutes matters?
15 mintues can be found between the couch cusions of every day. I believe it is so. And not only in dreams.
15 minutes is nothing to belittle. Day by day, it adds up to a thriving creative spirit. And who knows, once you get inside those minutes, you may find even more.