This morning I spent one hour and 15 minutes ignoring my To Do List, putting aside the 4 stories I have to write by Tuesday, and brushing off a blog post that just wouldn’t write itself. Instead, I sat at my computer looking at the websites of Creative People™ wishing my ideas would effortlessly flow like theirs. I envisioned myself hammering away at my keyboard producing amazing content during absinthe-fueled evenings set against a soundtrack of Mozart arias, tribal house music, and gangster rap.
As I closed my tabs and looked at the blank page, Disappointed Voice kicked in. Why wasn’t I producing great content and offering it to the masses? Where was my creative spirit? I look at my surroundings and noticed I still hadn’t taken a shower and was wearing my pajamas and a sweatshirt. My hair was sticking straight up (I’m sure Mozart would be proud) and I was drinking orange out of a wine glass. My husband asked me why I choose a wine glass and I looked at him and said, “How do you drink it?” There was a coffee cup filled with a fruit smoothie in front of me and a notebook full of ideas and plans.
And yet, I sit here looking at Facebook checking my e-mail waiting for inspiration to attach itself to my ankle like a rabid dog. Like many, I get distracted by shiny things and it takes me a while to get back to where I need to be. It usually involves a pity party or two, a list, and then focus. If I actually took my own advice and left the house to write and create, I would probably get more done. I edited a series of children’s books for a woman who wrote most of them in a local pub. When my husband and I have important decisions to make, we don’t make them at the kitchen table; we get out of the house and go to a favorite pub for deep discussions and list-making.
I’m beginning to think that there is just too much noise and content for us to get anything done. Good decision making has atrophied to what is comfortable and familiar instead of unknown and a little scary. Last week on A Closer Look Radio, Pam interviewed futurist Eric Garland who pretty much said the same thing. He recently published this article for the Atlantic Monthly explaining how Über conglomerates are creating redundancy through bureaucracy and ignoring the fact that times they are a changing. Eric argues we left what was considered “normal” in 2008 and will never go back. These Über corporations don’t want to face this fact while perpetuating mediocrity.
I mentioned this idea to my husband and he wisely pointed out how companies spend too much time dealing with issues and not enough time adapting to changing climates. He also said something that really stuck with me: We need a peaceful and sacred space from which to make decisions. We need to get away from the interwebs, Facebook, and cell phones and just catch our breath. There’s too much out there distracting us from making good decisions or writing good blog posts.
By spending my Sunday morning looking at the websites of Creative People ™ and feeling sorry for myself, I can either perpetuate my own mediocrity or use those sites as inspiration and do something about it. I’d rather do something about it.
What about you? Pity party or absinthe-fueled creativity sessions complete with gangster rap?