62 – What Distracts You?

This is your question for today: What distracts me? Do ten minutes of automatic writing please. What distracts you from your daily creative habit?

Interesting times…I’m not writing this blog regularly because there is too much going on.

Good, exciting, rejuvenating, heady stuff.

Add to this, a couple of interesting people have come forward to be supported one-to-one on their creative journey.

It’s called coaching, I know, except I have a slight aversion to this word, ‘coaching’ because it’s a skills-based concept and I like to think of helping people find their creative edge as an activity that touches on broader and bigger sweeps of the self, soul, mind, body, spirit, fluffy bunny, chocolate egg, sexuality, call it what you want and bring in a few ghosts, too, plus 30 generations of your ancestors, several invisible and intangible beings, Athena, Poseidon, and as many Nereids as you can fit in.

Yes, here are a couple I photographed, first in Kerkyra, Greece and then in Barcelona, Spain:

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Now what I’ve done above, is distracted myself big time; I distracted myself with undisciplined, slightly crazy thoughts which I poured out without any rhyme or reason. I distracted myself writing irrelevant stuff and looking through pictures I felt like sharing with you. But I was making a point: we, humans, are distracted far more often than we are focused.

And yes, it holds us back, but also it can nurture us – as long as we notice; as long as we also continue to create in a humble, daily, disciplined, and, I hope, loving way. But first let’s be honest about what holds us back.

In my case: family, home, the net in all its  glory, food, cooking, tidying up, seeing friends, children, paid work, unpaid work, holidays, telly, fiction books, non-fiction books, web courses, other courses, texts, random phone-calls, door-to-door salespeople.

Worst of all, I have this annoying self-image as a ‘nice’, helpful, giving person who won’t easily say ‘sorry, no’ when my help is asked until it’s crystal clear that someone is less of a friend and more of a systematic people-user.

But most of all, what distracts me is my mind.

Because it’s up to me to not take calls when I want to focus; or come off the net, or check emails once every three days, or put up a notice informing door-to-door salespeople that I won’t buy stuff at the doorstep.

Most of what distracts me then, could be simply life; but a good chunk of it is my unfocused mind, jumping from branch to branch like a monkey when it should be knuckling down and concentrating like a good, old-fashioned mathematician working out an interesting and all-absorbing puzzle with pen and paper with no distractions.

So I make a resolution to be aware of my monkey mind and to give more space to my inner mathematician; to practise humbly and steadily, working out solutions; and to go for a walk in nature when I’m depleted.

Now go back to today’s question and work at it for ten minutes. What do you resolve to do about it?

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61 -Depleted

Q:  Should I push myself to be productive all the time? Or is it better to hibernate when I feel depleted and just wait for the well of creativity to be refilled?

(Do a 10-minute automatic writing exploration – next week we’ll do 10 minutes about how to get back on course.)

Hi!

I haven’t written for a while because I was overloaded and uninspired.

So is it ok to do this? Go into a hibernation of sorts?

I can only speak for myself. How about you? Do you go through periods when you just stop and let the well be refilled?

For more than three months I felt uninspired to write this creativity blog; but when we have nothing to say isn’t it better to be silent?

I’ve been doing other things, though: I was asked to judge a poetry competition, which was fun.

Then I’m doing a course  at the Omnibus, Clapham.  See my Facebook page (irene.rosenfeld.56) and check my last March 2017 post if you are London-based and tempted. It’s great if you want to learn abut play and script writing, or just about improving dialogue as a fiction writer.

The other course I’m doing is with a literary agent, Curtis Brown. This one’s about writing fiction for adults. Having only ever written fiction for older children, I thought it would do me good. I was right!

If you are a writer and would like to do it, put ‘Curtis Brown Creative’ in your search engine and apply. It’s online, so you can do it from anywhere. We have a few Australians and New Zealanders on my current course, if you are reading this blog from the other end of the world.

Another interesting thing I did was go to the London Book Fair.

It was great. It made me realise that a new author should only aim for small publishers.

It also became clear to me that getting a literary agent is not impossible if (for whatever reasons) you already have a large following.

Now, remember this blog is about creativity in general and not writing.

So a useful question to ask yourself is, ‘Well, whose work gets to be seen in my own creative field?’

Avoid being negative or cynical, but do tell the truth.

And even if there is an elephant in the room that nobody ever speaks of, honest answers will always give you clues as to which avenues are realistically open to someone with your own brand of creativity.

 

60 – CREATIVITY, IMAGINATION and Michele Janes

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REFLECTIONS BY MICHELE JANES

I love abstract art as a way of feeding the imagination and, by implication, creativity.

I went to see an exhibition of paintings by Michele Janes just before the weekend.

I especially liked the one reproduced here. The actual canvas is relatively small, I think not larger than 40 x 30 cm, and conveys a richly dark mood.  I liked the title, ‘Reflections’ as a possible pun. It made me think, “Are we talking about reflections in water, here, or musings and meditations, or both?”

Then it occurred to me that the vertical upright figures look rather like reflections themselves making the viewer ask vaguely philosophical questions, like, “So if these are the reflections of something, where is the ‘something’? Where are the objects that these are reflections of?

I enjoyed the exhibition. Whereas some artists have 2-3 chronological periods expressing preoccupations with different forms, media or ideas, Michele’s work depicts three different moods. Some of her artworks use metallic colours and natural forms. Others (like the one above) use traditional paints and techniques and have a darker, more sombre mood. A third group has an ultra-modern, colourful and cool feel and would look good in minimalist interiors, public spaces or trendy bars and restaurants.

If you would like to view more works by  Michele Janes, visit her website, http://www.abstractvisions.co.uk/blog/

Today’s Question for your Automatic Writing diary: Do I let Art feed my imagination from time to time? How?