Creativity Cabin Fever

I feel like I have some sort of creativity cabin-fever these days.

I really want to get creative, but at the same time I am restless and fidgety.  On top of that, I am easily distracted by brainless things.  These two things do not conspire to cause me to get a lot of work done.

If you add to that the fact that my house is a four-kid madhouse with constant lightsaber battles being waged by the five year old, and middle- and high-schoolers doing papers, you can see where I might be running into issues.

I wonder if a change of venue might help.  My desk, where most of my writing and graphics arts work goes on, is in the office.  That’s the social center of my house most days, as all the adults are computer geeks.  I also know every little distraction that’s available to me, there.

For sketching, I could take a physical notebook and do my sketching that way.  For writing I could do the same, or take my laptop somewhere new.  Even a different room might help.  Heck, I could set up my laptop for use with my digital tablet and do the same.

It’s probably a good idea, particularly for sketching.  There are just a lot more subjects available out and about than can be shoehorned into my computer room.  What I need more than that, I think, is to develop some discipline.  To that end, I have come to a few conclusions.

  1. My standards have been too high.  It’s okay if I don’t get a whole chapter or scene written, or a whole drawing done.  It’s still better to have done something.
  2. I should do a little something every day, even if it’s not part of a larger project.
  3. I have the desire and inspiration, but now I need to focus on the craft of writing and illustration.  That means the heads-down work of actually making things happen instead of waiting for my muse to fart rainbows on my head or whatever she does.
  4. I cut myself too much slack.  I gave up too quickly on the Project 365 challenge.  I will not make it happen if every little thing becomes an excuse not to do the work that day.

Wish me luck.  I haven’t decided yet if I want to use this space to update my progress and lack of same.  I think it would get a bit too repetitive and dull in short order.  Maybe I will do weekly summaries or something.

I am indebted to Cory Doctorow for his essay, “Writing in the Age of Distraction” over at Locus Online.


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