Saturday, March 10, 2012

More on the rising tide

In the time since my last post, I've been keeping my head down, focused on working, pushing to try to get to a new level. I've had to put a few things into the margins to make this happen. One of the more difficult aspects of this sort of focus is explaining the need for 'space' to friends and family. Sometimes I have to work pretty hard to extract a block of creative time. The Etsy shop is my day job. It's a full time job and then some. But time for writing or creating an inspired larger work is another animal entirely. So when I do get some time, the pressure is on to 'make it count.'

It seems that everyday life abhors the creative zone.

One of my favorite comfort movies is "As Good as it Gets." There's a scene where Helen Hunt's character, Carol, goes into a tail spin because she gets enough breathing room to examine her life. That scene has come to mind more than once lately. Finally the drama and unrest in my life has settled down and I'm looking around wondering how the hell things got so convoluted.

In such a situation, it's really hard for me to focus on one thing. Other things clamour for attention. This is one of the disadvantages to working from one's home, I suppose. One approach would be to make a list, prioritize it and work through it.

When that doesn't work, I try a different approach. I keep moving and chip away at whatever is in front of me. If I discover a logistics problem, I stop and fix it. Messy bathroom- take a quick swipe at it. Whatever I do will improve the situation as a whole. Getting rid of little things that annoy or waste time will only help. I find this freeing. I can think while I do simple things. I can get back to projects tomorrow with less distraction.

Now, one could see this as a form of procrastination. I'm thinking of it as an experiment in fitting the task to the inspiration. Instead of lists and priorities, I go through a few days looking to improve things in general - including snatching a bit of time for reading or play with Orion.

It's good to be here. Less treading water, more swimming.


Sue said...

If my life ever slowed down long enough for me to really, and I mean really look at it, I think I would have a breakdown. Some times I feel like I am NOT where I am supposed to be. Other times, I am more content with things. not thrilled, but content.

I hope you find some time for you and your creativity. Your work and your blog posts always brightens my day.

Syd said...

This makes a LOT of sense, Lisa. Yes, sometimes doing Thing A from inception to completion--whether Thing A is doing dishes or paying bills or making a new piece of art--it the right option.

Sometimes it's not. Sometimes, seeing a thing needing doing and doing it, and not worrying about whether it's "taking" time from something more important, works better. Any feeling of accomplishment can help break through whatever holds up back from the other stuff.

And there are times when it really is the small, piecemeal things that need to get done to clear the deck for other, perhaps bigger, things.

I'm going to read your post again in a little while, and maybe another few times, because I think there's something in it for my situation and I want to make sure I give it a chance to make itself fully known. Thank you.

Diandra said...

My best bet in situations as these is to make a schedule and stick to it. Especially with creative work this is tough, but the schedule has doubled the time I have got for writing, and I try to make the best of it.

ravyn said...

Doing little things is still DOING THINGS. i need to remind myself of this :-)

Carl V. Anderson said...

I think that taking care of little, seemingly unimportant things can certainly be procrastination, but more often than not I find if I feel lost or overwhelmed or in general disarray that doing things like dusting, vacuuming, picking up at least one room in the house and getting it in order does wonders for getting ME in order. Sometimes I think those things, annoying as they can sometimes be, are true gift.