The path to to your art is a dirty road paved with ink.
I had no itention of writing this post but I did have an intenetion to write. I brought my notebook and pen with me to lunch and a target of leaving with 3 pages full of writing, even if it was the same word 500 times.
There was no epiphany.
The clouds did not part and the sun shine down on me.
No trumpets hearalding the coming of an idea.
Just 3 pages of ramblings and the semblence of one coherent idea.
Oh, and I got out of the way.
Sometimes the hardest thing is to do when your making things is to distance yourself from yourself.
It’s a particulary challenging proposition for the creative whose natural inclanation is to observe, think about, and feel everything around them.
Which is why craft is so important.
Craft is developed through the refinement of your practice. How do you do what you do? Practice is creating a routine and a space to get yourself the hell out of the way and allow yourself and your ideas to come out.
As much as we think we have or want to have control over our work we don’t. All we have is the work. The goal of my writing session was 3 pages of writing. Not great writing, just writing. In the writing that day I was able to find something, but I found it IN the writing i had done. It wasn’t perfect but it was in there. I just had to write.
Spill some ink. See what comes out.
Matthieu Ricard on taking time for stillness:
I hear that all the time too, people saying they’re so busy, how can they possibly take another 20 minutes? It’s just as Pico said about physical fitness before. If people from Nepal come to Paris and they see people jogging early in the morning or going on a bicycle that goes nowhere, they think they are mad. Because they are running in the mountains all day, so they don’t need that. If 15 minutes of stillness change the 23 hours and 45 minutes left in your day, including your sleep and your human relations, it seems to be worthwhile. So to say “I don’t have time” is like going to see a doctor for treatment and then when you hear it saying, “Oh Doctor, it’s impossible!”
Though Ricard is speaking of stillness and meditation the concept is relevant to any habit or practice we seek to introduce in our lives. These little moments in our lives can have powerful effects regardless if the physical time involved. Attention combined with action creates experiences that add to our well being and create momentum that carries us toward happiness and fulfillment.
I think there’s increasing recognition of how social, emotional and cognitive functioning are intermingled; that kids may have difficulty in school when emotional challenges arise and that impacts learning,” she adds. “Can you imagine how this could shift the climate of our schools, our community, our world, if cultivating these qualities was at the forefront of education?
Even though this particular article is about kindergarten children the recognition of the potential connection between social, emotion, and cognitive functioning is fascinating and I think particularly important for the creative individual no matter what age.