How Can I Find Time For Lettering?
Lettering takes time. It can often be very time-consuming actually, and the difficult part is trying to find that time to put towards it. This can be very challenging when you have so many other commitments and obligations that absolutely need your time. It can become very easy to get to the end of your day and discover that there’s no time left over to do any lettering.
The truth is that you’ll never find time. We naturally fill up the time we have if it isn’t already dedicated towards something else. Our leisure time often results in watching a few YouTube videos, scrolling through feeds, or just relaxing throughout out the day. None of those things are bad by themselves, but an instance here and there add up to hours in your day. The only way around this problem is by making time. I’m not talking about denying yourself any free time, but rather making a commitment to show up regularly.
Making Time For Lettering
The reason you arrive to the end of the day with no time for lettering is because it hasn’t yet become a priority in your day. You probably don’t wonder if you have enough time to go to work, eat, or sleep. This is because those things are priorities for you. The way to make more time for lettering is by making it a part of your day by creating a habit.
Depending on the amount of commitments you already have, “regularly” may look different from person to person. If you’re single and a student, you may have the ability to show up more regularly than someone with a spouse, several children, and a full-time job. Uncover the amount of time that you’re able to commit to lettering and define it to once a week, several times a week, or daily if you can. Define how many hours you’re able to spend on a lettering piece, mark that on your calendar, and commit to it. Make it a priority to show up for the amount of time that you’ve defined.
Breaking Out of Your Current Circumstances
It’s okay to be conservative with your lettering commitment when you’re just starting out, but beware of judging your available time too heavily on your current circumstances. The only way you can break out of your current circumstances is by thinking outside of them. You won’t notice the 30 minutes here and 10 minutes there that go unaccounted for in your current situation. It’s only when you take the leap and commit to showing up when you’ll uncover the time you had all along. You will only notice the end result once you have to adjust to your new commitment. It’s similar to when you have a dentist appointment; You didn’t have time set aside to go to the dentist before, but somehow you make the time to do that because it becomes a priority in your day.
For myself, it was actually easier for me to find time for lettering when I was creating lettering every single day for a year, than it has been recently without a clearly defined commitment. This is because I had started with a commitment to show up. Lettering became a priority in my day, which allowed me to subconsciously block out time in my day for it. It seems almost magical now how I arrived at the end of each day with at least a couple of hours to do a lettering piece. The commitment serves as the impetus to hustle more throughout your day, limit time-wasters, and make sacrifices to free up time for lettering. Without a commitment, showing up becomes a choice, and choice is the enemy of progress.
Without a commitment, showing up becomes a choice, and choice is the enemy of progress.
— Dane Gonzalez (@HeyImDane) August 26, 2015
Keeping Yourself Accountable
However, making the commitment is not enough. You also need to keep yourself accountable to stick with your commitment. You can do so by one of three ways: personal accountability, public accountability, and partner accountability. Assuming you’ve made the commitment to show up regularly to do lettering, you have the personal accountability part down. However, the funny thing is that we’re okay with letting ourselves down. This is why New Year’s resolutions are notorious for failing—we make a commitment to ourselves one day, and give up on it because there’s nothing at stake. On the other hand, we don’t want to let other people down. This is why public and partner accountability work really well with keeping us on track. This is also why I stuck it out with my project 365. In fact, here’s the exact public commitment I made to hundreds of people on my Instagram account that I would show up with a new lettering piece everyday:
With the end of my magazine, I have been vaguely mentioning moving on to bigger and better things and projects, but actually I have been ready to move on to one specific project I have been thinking about for a really long time now and am finally ready to share it with all of you. I will be beginning the project of creating something everyday for 365 days. I have the insatiable desire to get better everyday and believe this project will hold me accountable to this goal of mine. I want to create something of worth each day, and it may not be a different message each day, but it will be a different medium. This is because part of this project is me showing my design process. I want to show how I work. So, for example, I may show a drawing one day, a vector image of that drawing the next day, and the end result apply that vector to a video. I will begin this starting tomorrow and the hashtag will be #dg365 and as much as this project is for me, I hope I can inspire you guys through my work. So, hope you guys enjoy! #lettering #handlettering #handlettered #typography#handdrawntype #goodtype #graphicdesign A photo posted by Dane Gonzalez (@heyimdane) on
Partner accountability works just as well if you don’t want to publicly display your commitment. Tell a family member or a friend your goals for lettering, and ask them if they can keep you accountable. You could show them or send a picture to them of each new lettering piece as a confirmation.
With having a commitment to show up regularly, combined with personal, public, and partner accountability, you’ll soon find yourself making time for lettering. As you stick with the commitment, lettering will soon become a part of your weekly or daily routine without even thinking about it. This commitment to show up also helps with putting your lettering ideas on paper when you can’t seem to find the motivation.
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