The Creative Process, by an addict.

Creative ProcessThis image is one of my favourite ever Facebook pick ups.

I used to think I was rubbish at creative jobs, spending most of the time panicking and crying while working them. This image proves that other people feel like that too. Not necessarily creative geniuses, but some ordinary creatives like me. Someone else drew the diagram. I’m not alone.

It also reminds me that the Deadline can become the end product in itself. Not a good focus. It should be about creating, not making the date.

If I’m under any kind of scrutiny at all during the process, my creativity drops away. So then we’ve got panic mode with no ideas at all and a billowing deadline. Nobody is comfortable in that scenario. Creative jobs of this kind are not for me.

Deadlines don’t just affect creative activity. The Creative Process deadline hell is transferable to Real Life. Everything with a deadline attached is done in the All The Work While Crying Period.

Leaving everything to the last possible minute isn’t a strategy. It’s a mislearned way of life. It’s a two-parter, the false endlessness of the Fuck Off Period followed by panic building into a frenzied burst of activity, sometimes with weeping.

I’m kidding myself that the main rehabiliative step is recognising it. Like an alcoholic saying “I accept I’m an alcoholic, but I can’t /won’t do anything about it”. Recognition isn’t the big deal; the highest leap is to changing the behaviour.

Part of the procrastination this evening was spent making dinner. Mini cheese puddings with ham, and salad. Very tasty. No deadline and therefore no panic. Just food love.

cheese bread pudding with ham

Creative Process Image C/O GraphJam

White Noise

I’m aware I haven’t written for a few days. But I have been writing … and now I know that these three little dots (…) are supposed to have a space before and after them. I received my edited manuscript a week ago and I’ve so far gone through 120 pages of the 187 page novel.

It’s okay, so far. I haven’t let myself look at the pages before I’m working on them, so each comment is a feeling of surprise and relief. (Except when I was still tantalising myself with it, a present unopened, stroking it by scrolling down and then switching it off without downloading it).

For good or for bad, I compartmentalise everything. Maybe it’s because I need structure or p’raps I’m a control freak (I know which one most people would say).

I’m happy doing it, there’s nothing wrong with it. Trouble is, there are times when the boxes into which go “Work”, “Friends”, “Boyfriend”, “Family”, and “Book” start leaking and a few overflows occur. The day job is pressured (more accurately: … is a pressurised bomb with the constant threat of explosion …), and while I’ve got other foci for my mind when I’m not at work, it’s beginning to spill into conversation at home.

In the meantime, I want to spend every minute of the day and night on my book, while Himself wants to spend every minute with me. I haven’t seen my mum in two weeks, thanks in part to the ice storm last Thursday and I’d like to repaper my bathroom with my dad.

So if you were wondering why the blogs had stopped, see above for the standard white noise that has been taking place in my blogging absence. Consider it at best to be that famous BBC TV test card image of the little girl with the blackboard, noughts & crosses (and a doll?).