Friday, May 11, 2007

Overcoming Inertia

I would calculate that fully one third of my creative day is spent overcoming inertia. I used to panic at the block, thinking it was permanent, immovable. It would grow and consume me, it was painful. But now (after some therapy, mind you) I find that though I am still struggling to start things, I now view it as part of the process. And accepting that has relieved the unpleasant grip on my stomach.

Now I structure my day by making a list of goals (well in advance of their due dates) that I don't expect to check off in order. Rather, I can sort through and pick from the list with the understanding that I have the right to leave undone any of the tasks without consequence as long as they are not part of a deadline.

This does not relieve the pressure, but it does feel more organic and more workable than a rigid timetable. It seems to leave more room for creative thinking and room for things to happen that I didn't plan for. Things like making an unexpected online connection with helpful information or a like-minded person, or thinking of a new object to make. It leaves room for the anxiety to roam around in a broader pasture which keeps it occupied and far enough away sometimes just long enough for me to grab a project on the list and start it.


  1. Glad to see someone else has the same problem I do, though I would never call my inertia - especially since going online - I seem to have ADD and start out with a plan of action, read blog posts, make comments for 1 hour - but each post lead in a chain, sometimes twisted to something else, which leads to another good idea, then, before I know it, it's 4:30 and I haven't eaten breakfast, moved from the desk, other than to take the puppy out, or even for that matter, combed my hair.

  2. Ha! I do that too :) I think it's called Etsy-itis. It's all leading to something though and it's all good.

  3. I used to be that way for some time (after getting hooked to blogging and Flickr). One click would always lead to another and before long, I'd have been all over the place and forgotten how or why I got there. Recently though, I've tried to be be more disciplined. I like the way you have struck a comfortable workable balance Made in Lowell! (by the way, you've been tagged. Please look at the "rules" on my blog :D )

  4. I'm alway fascinated by how someone creates something but your post made me realize that it's just as fascinating knowing how someone *gets* to the creating part. I also appreciate your point about leaving room for anxiety. I think I need to do that more often.

  5. Ha, I love this post! I bounce around from one thing to the next and forget what I was doing. I find something else that captures my attention and begin another 8 new projects. Then it's back to the forums and before I know it another __ hours has gone by! And my projects are left hanging, along woth dinner, the laundry, and more poor husband who is out in the TV room going, "Are we gonna watch this movie or what?"

  6. K M Rani - It think there is a bit of the novelty in getting sucked into the computer at first, then it ease just a little so we can get back to making things!

    PS, I've been tagged already (see post "I'm It" and I don't play anymore :)

    Maia - it is all about accepting that there will be conflict and moving forward anyway

    Terri - HA! I think you just decribed everyone's Etsy life perfectly!

  7. Yeah I still feel like I'm in that stage of being consumed by all the projects I want to start. Its hard to find focus in this creative mind of mine. But reading your blog does show that it is possible.

  8. I wonder if its just that time of year.. I've been feeling the exact same way! The trepidation as a blank slate stares you down.. I even made a crafty to-do list in my blog to get my head straightened out. Now I know there are others like me :)

  9. Hello there! thisis such gorgeous intricate work - really amazing to see it as it is being made! I had no idea... :)

    ahhhh, i'm also pleased or sorry to say (whichever you feel complimetns you most) LOL that you've been tagged! there are the rules... (if you're keen...)

    1.List seven random facts/habits about yourself2.Choose another seven bloggers to tag and list their names in your blog
    3.Leave your seven tagged bloggers comments to notify them of their tagging and to direct them to your blog for tag instructions.

    Lisa (estasketch) tagged me first. It's actually been quite revealing...

    Can't wait to read yours, if you do it! :)

    xo Kristina

  10. Again! PS: I've been tagged already (see post "I'm It" and I don't play anymore :)