If what I do best is my passion and creative outlet, shouldn’t that be what I focus my life’s energy on? Shouldn’t it be EASY to give in to what I enjoy? It turns out that life is a balancing act, between what I want to do and what I need to do to support my life (work) and the endless interruptions and distractions. . . that IS (ARE?) Life.
I’ve been reading on the Web about the common characteristics of highly creative people. Not all of it is positive and some of it I reject, but enough of what I’ve read makes sense to me to know that I fall somewhere in the spectrum. (I believe EVERYONE falls somewhere on the creativity spectrum!)
Take one characteristic, that of being easily distracted and quickly bored because the brain is firing faster than the body can act. I believe we all suffer from this occasionally, due to a variety of factors. One cause might be the overstimulation from too much social or electronic media. Another could be today’s habit of multitasking. Either of these could disrupt the concentration of even the most dedicated thinker.
If you are a writer, an artist, or the master of your own specialty, how do you focus your best thoughts on creating something new or unique?
My own approach to this scatter-brained dilemma is as follows. What is yours?
- I commit to finishing my project on or within a deadline. Example: I will finish writing and illustrating my next workbook by the end of 2015.
- I consciously set aside recurring blocks of time, as consistently as possible, to writing and making art.*
- During these times I do not allow myself to read fascinating work by other writers. I am a voracious reader and can spend entire weekends reading a good book. I try to use this addiction to reward myself after I’ve completed a block of my own project.
- I turn off the TV and stay off social media (FaceBook, to which I am also addicted.)
- I do allow myself downtime in the form of meditation, walking or even short naps. This helps whatever ideas I have tumbling around in my brain to come together, make connections and mature.
*I often ‘show up’ to write or draw, only to find my mind is blank. Doodling or free writing helps me get started. I may struggle to get even the worst results down on paper, but often return later to find my efforts are not as bad as I thought. Even if I only retain a few words, or discard it entirely, it eventually moves the project forward and unblocks my thoughts.
HOW DO YOU FOCUS ON YOUR CREATIVITY?
How have you arranged your life to allow you to work at what you enjoy? Are you working at what you love? If not, how do you divide your time between work and ‘play?’ I’d love to hear from you, and would like to include your name and idea in a future book, or on my website.