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.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Honoring your writer self Part 2

A couple of posts ago, I listed Judy Reeves' ideas about honoring your self as a writer. At my Second Thursday writing group, I handed the list out and asked each person to write for a few minutes on one of the ideas. I started off writing on one and digressed and came back.

Make a comfortable place for your writing. Since I live alone and work here too, it would seem easy to turn my whole spacious apartment into a writing and art studio and I don't know why I never thought of this before. In 2000, I did a project called Zen Home and renovated the interior (new colors, new furniture arrangements, fixing what didn't work) so that my place could more easily support the kind of life I wanted. Now I think it may be time to do that again as what I'm up to has changed.

In 2000, I didn't see myself as a writer and artist. I hadn't started my memoir, I was not doing collage at all. I was just taking an occasional drawing class. Now my whole concept of my self has changed and perhaps my apartment needs to too.

I'm not sure what changes to make but that doesn't mean it can't be done. Here are some of my ideas:
  • Get some kind of a light over the dining table for better illumination.
  • Really reduce the clutter in the office, like no kidding.
  • Get some kind of cart for creative supplies or use the lower shelves of the living rooms bookcase (hidden from public view by the sofa) for such supplies so they are handier
  • Make better use of the office storage.
How might you set things up to support your creative endeavors?