Saturday, October 13, 2012
Creative Block -- A New (found) Perspective
The absence from my blog mirrors my absence from my studio. I have lots of things I'd like to do, but I'm having a hard time getting upstairs to actually do them. Yes, there are a myriad of tasks and obligations that are tugging at my time (and I detailed them all for a friend yesterday), but if I'm really honest I can't blame them entirely for keeping me from being productive.
So, what's holding me back?
Ever the student (and lover of research), I went on-line today to try to analyze my dilemma. I know that the internet is typically maligned for being the wrong place to self-diagnose but today, I think I discovered something rather compelling -- a quote from Mary Garden, an opera singer in the early 1900s:
My block was due to two overlapping factors: laziness and a lack of discipline.
I think there's an element of truth here that relates directly to my studio practice. I'm lazy and undisciplined.
I have to admit to myself (and publicly, I guess, if I'm sharing it here) that I'll often pick up a book as opposed to going to my studio when I only have an extra fifteen minutes. I don't jot down notes of ideas or impressions of color in my journal, even though it sits on my desk about ten paces from the kitchen. I could go on and on, revealing all my bad habits, but let's not drag all my dirty laundry out in public just yet.
So what am I going to do about this?
Well, I hope it's true that self-awareness is a big step towards changed behavior. However, that probably won't be enough to get me up the two flights of stairs to the attic where I have my studio. I think I'm going to try the following (and I only say think because I'll have to evaluate this on a regular basis to see if I'm getting the results I want):
- I love to read everyone's blogs. So, I'm going to take my laptop and read the blogs I follow in my studio. I'll already be in my creative space and hopefully, that will mean I'll turn from my computer to my sewing machine more readily.
- I don't have an iPhone, iCalendar, or any other such electronic device to keep track of my day; I use an old-fashioned calendar. It works for me because it seems I remember what I write down. So I'm going to try to actually write a creative appointment with myself whenever I have a block of time. Hopefully, that will mean I'll remember to make time for my art any time I look at my calendar to see what's next on my agenda.
- I like to have lists of tasks to be done at some point during the week. Guess what? I hardly ever write down "Make art". I think I'll have to change that. Maybe I should write it down as two separate "to do" items so I go to my studio twice. And, I think I might want to check each week how many times I actually can cross that off my list. I probably have a skewed sense of how much time I spend in my studio, sort of like how I have a skewed sense of how much I eat. I always eat more than I think I do. Maybe I can flip-flop those two activities? That would be really cool -- eat less, create more. Hmmmm, maybe I'm on to something else here, too.....