all in the name of creativity?

When does allowing oneself ‘space’ for an idea to develop become procrastination?

"Really, I promise you, I'm working very hard. I'm thinking!"

Yesterday I spent the day ‘writing’… well I think I did. I got up, walked to my local cafe, took care of my social networking responsibilities (yes, I do mean ‘responsibilities’… as a writer it is imperative to stay abreast of what’s happening on Facebook / twitter / LinkedIn), worked on an essay submission for an hour or so, did a bit of reading, worked on the same essay submission for another hour or so, did the Facebook / twitter etc. thing again, read a little more, browsed (in the name of research) and wrote a little more. All in all I probably only wrote 500 words or so but I was ‘working’ for a good 6 or 7 hours.

I know, the math doesn’t add up. I know. Trust me. I do. My husband comes home from work and when I tell him I’m exhausted because I’ve been ‘working’ all day, and then show him the measly 500 words (sometimes less) that I’ve extracted (yes, sometimes like teeth), he rolls his eyes. And rightly so. Here he’s been lifting bags, running up and down stairs and greeting ass holes (he works for quite an ‘up there’ hotel) all day and I’m telling him I’m exhausted? But I truly am.

What is that? What’s that draining, mind ticking over, ‘filler’ stuff that happens in between word 75 and 133? What IS that thing that requires pot after pot of tea / walks / reading to happen? What IS that quite-often-mistaken-for-indulgence/laziness process that creatives (and yes, I do mean all creatives because it’s been a running theme in conversations that I’ve had with writers, painters, printmakers and photographers alike) must experience for their photo / prose / painting / print to work? Is it just fluffing of the most professional kind, or, is it something more?

Thoughts? Anybody nutted this one out? Please, do share.

Happy pondering / plodding / piss farting around xx

4 thoughts on “all in the name of creativity?

  1. its air and space for your mind to breath. i enjoy that time now. took ages to relax into it. and still there is sometimes a huge struggle that ‘i could do mooooore’ but walking away, or looking away and coming back is a wonderous tool. Not to mention you pick up the mistakes!!! xx

    • you’re so right… about the struggle part too. from what i’ve heard from other ‘creatives’ learning to let go and trusting in the process are the hardest things to ‘learn’. glad you’ve found your groove and have ‘relaxed into it’. xx

  2. Hi Kat, I think that it takes times to get where you want to be, be it in your writing or any of the arts that you may be involved in. I also think it is healthy to step back and take a break when things just don’t seem to be flowing, and when you return quite often things flow again and you feel refreshed.

    • Thanks for your comment! Yep. I think that seems to be the opinion all ’round… Walk away. Breathe. Step back. Perspective? Is that the word we’re all looking for here? Or is it just not forcing things and allowing creativity to develop and flow? And you’re so right about it taking time. We live in a society where everything is ‘instant’ – porridge (!), text messages, ebooks – so we seem to have forgotten that sometimes, time is all that is needed.

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