We have time, and we use it up. It is the ultimate commodity in a temporary life. In a creative space, it seems to waiver in form: great gaping hours of fearful emptiness, or ultra-thin slivers of panicked release.
Between reading Jon Kabat-Zinn’s “Wherever you Go, There You Are” and Scoutie Girl’s latest post on flexibility and balance in our creative lives, I am buggered as to whether my writing would more successful if I were to “do nothing” or “work smarter.”
The creative life and the consumer life constantly fight, like angry siblings.
So many people I know attest that you should “Do what you want and money will follow” and some have even shown it to be true. For them.
What makes a creative day successful? Is the beautiful piece of work completed (or even started)? Or is it having the value of your time/craft validated by the audience/consumer?
Tara and Stephanie look at the concept of “balance” and “flexibility” as being see and saw of a creative “career”. From Tara (Scoutie Girl):
I need boundaries for those around me. My ability to have any sense of balance in my life is tied to my ability to rein in the flexibility I feel around my creative career. If I want to achieve balance, I have to accept a less flexible work arrangement (note: it’s still pretty damn good…). And if I want to maintain ultimate flexibility, I have to accept a less balanced life.
Tara says that flexibility leads to her to “have to accept a less balanced life.”
The language of this reply is like a sigh. For a writer/artist (maybe others too?), a day ahead holds promise. It is waiting to be ready to be filled– with the beauty and deep emotional connections that have our right brain firing constantly.
To “have to” build boundaries and limit “creative time” to 10-4 p.m., Monday thru Thursday (for example), seems to instinctively dive the creative mind into a place of limitations.
Hence, the <sigh> I sense in Tara’s acceptance of “balance” as her creative master.
Man, we DO hate to be reminded that art is work.