The Almighty Quarter: What It Costs to Create

Quarters are amazing! You can do so many activities with quarters. You can do laundry, you can play a game at an arcade with enough quarters (are those even a thing in today’s world?). You can purchase a cheap, hot cup of liquid motivation on your way to work with quarters.

Photo by cottonbro on

Once upon a time, you could make a phone call in a phone booth with a quarter. Packs of chewing gum used to be a quarter!

I mean I could go on and on about how great quarters are!

My favorite quarters, however, are those within a day, made up of minutes and seconds. In a single day, you have twenty-four hours, forty-eight half hours and ninety-six  QUARTERS! Nintey-six! Now, you are probably thinking, “What is the big deal?”

“Time does not play fair. It plays mind tricks. More often than not, it will rob you, trick you and leave you frustrated…if you let it.”

Candice Coates

Here it is, as creative beings, who have full-time commitments away from our crafts, finding the time to cultivate our craft seems like an impossible feat. It never fails that the excuse “I don’t have enough time.” is used.

I am guilty of that.

Time is a formidable foe indeed. Time does not play fair. It plays mind tricks. More often than not, it will rob you, trick you and leave you frustrated…if you let it.


Here are a few ways to make time for your craft during a busy work week when it seems that extra time is simply and understandably out of reach:

1. Don’t allow time to oppress you: If you, like me, have ever bought into the lie that you don’t have enough time to write, draw, compose, do whatever it is that you feel a creative hunger for just remember you have ninety-six quarters at your disposal.

Yes, some of them are already accounted for, but when you consider taking four of those ninety-six quarters a day and dedicating them to your craft, you would be amazed at what you can achieve.

Even if you can only spare two or even one at the most, still your creative muscles will be strengthened.

You know what it is like to be hangry. The same rules apply when we are starved for creative release.

2. Use breaks between committed tasks as creative intermissions: A great way to be fresh during the workday as you go from task to task (besides taking a nap which is also a good thing) is to do some mental cleansing.

Doodling or jotting down ideas in a journal or sketchbook for a few minutes can help defrag your thoughts and get you ready for the next phase of your day.

Think of it as palate-cleansing between courses.

3. Break your quarters into dimes or even nickels: Maybe you are really pressed for time, but if you allow yourself five or ten minutes to do a quick sketch or jot down your idea, you will be branding the overall concept to your memory in a way that it will be easier to revisit later.

Five minutes here, ten minutes there, and the synopsis for a short story or full-length novel, or the preliminary sketch for your next drawing or painting is done.

I personally like to carry around tiny notebooks in my wallet to capture those creative words and musings that suddenly appear throughout the day at random moments. My notebook of choice is from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild.

Though these notebooks are tiny they are fiercely useful and also bring a touch of humor each time you break them out.

You may be thinking that a quarter just isn’t enough, but something is always better than nothing.

Consider how a kid under the age of ten goes bananas for a dollar. College students living off of Roman Noodles feel like they’ve hit the jackpot if they find a single quarter laying around. We need to have the same attitude as they do about our quarters of time.

Take the quarters you have, count them up, and dedicate a few of them to your craft. Even if it is just one quarter, set it aside to do what your soul is pushing you to do, and don’t spend that quarter on anything else. You will be amazed and enriched by the beauty you can achieve.

~Write on? Right on!

*This is a revision of an article written on January 12, 2014

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