Eliminating distractions.

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?    (Author: Leo Babauta)

Writing is not my main occupation or preoccupation. For me the better question is: what do I do that interferes with my ability to be creative? That creativity takes many forms, including art, quilting, knitting, blogging.

What interferes?

  • Too much time on the internet.
  • A too disorganized “studio” (which sometimes masquerades as the basement and other times as the dining room table.)
  • It is too easy to buy new materials rather than examine what I have or make use of what does not quite “fit” the work I am doing.
  • My job (which I enjoy a great deal and would not give up at all. And which affords me the ability to purchase the materials I use to make art.)

Can I eliminate these? Clearly two goals for the new year for me are more organization and less willingness to be distracted. (And then I’ll also have more time to read!)

I am also aware that my job – especially the time driving and the time “being present” – gives me time to be reflective and creative. Creativity sometimes needs time being distracted. My mind needs to wander in the background while I focus on other things for some creative blocks to be worked out.

And to be fair, there are two things I do every day which contribute to my creativity.

  • I’ve been writing something in a “One Line A Day” five year journal every day since the beginning of May. This forces me to reflect and to pay attention. If I don’t want to write “Went to work. Cooked dinner.” every day, I have to notice when the sunflowers grow to be taller than me or when the sky is an unusual shade of pinky-orange.
  • I am also keeping a Sketch a Day journal. Every day since Rosh Hashana I have made a quick or detailed sketch. Mostly of my dog. But I can look back over 80 days of sketches and see my skills improve.

About wallcough

Trying to find beauty and joy in the world around me . I am many things, among them a quilter, a knitter, and an incessant reader. There is not enough time for them all, so I jump in between them as the mood hits me. Professionally - a rabbi; a hospice chaplain.
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