Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eliminating possibilities

My good friend Tamara has spent a lot of the last week decluttering in her large home. Tamara is a woman of many talents and many interests and her stuff reflects that diversity. And it was all driving her crazy. For example, when she sorted through all the stuff in her creative space, she could sort it into 18 different interests and related projects. That's in addition to the tons of stuff she could easily let go of--throw away or give away.

She took a picture of all these interests and then started thinking about her time, her need to get proficient or expert at some of these, her desire to bring some projects to completion. And she began to analyze and reduce. She thought through each impulse, each longing, each idea and then she settled on the five that really sang to her heart. She let go of all the rest.

As creatives, I think we are easily seduced by the possible. There are so many tools, materials, classes, ideas out there. There's always room for more knowledge, for more improvement, right? And related things are of great interest. If you're a novelist, you might want to write some essays or a biography or a screen play or poetry. Or maybe doing some collage would make that next chapter of the novel come easier.

I'm all for cross-pollination. But some times, all those possibilities are big distractors from our real efforts, our real loves. So sometimes, it's good to go through the creative files or baskets or closets or rooms, sort it all out and let a lot of it go.

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