Wednesday, May 12, 2010

an upward spiral

It takes me a while, but I eventually catch on. And I'm doing it again.

I get caught in these cycles, creative and hormonal and seasonal and nutritional. I get caught in a rut, sense a problem, crawl my way out, breathe again.

It especially happens during levels of high creativity. Right now, I'm hellbent on finishing the current book. At 59,000 words out of a projected 85,000, I am barreling downhill like a ball of falafel in a field of couscous.

Did I mention art makes me hungry?

Creativity is great, but it definitely gives me tunnel vision for the rest of the world, mainly because I'm so busy chugging towards the light at the end of said tunnel. The house gets messy. The laundry piles up, gets done and folded but not put away, and we paw through tubs for socks. We start eating more snacks and less whole foods. I don't go outside. I want to shop, buy new shirts, bring home things and stuff. I don't throw things away. I hoard. Just in case.

It's like everything remains in stasis as I hold my breath and push.

And then I realize I'm doing it, and I have the urge to throw everything away, buy shelving at Ikea, and get more zen. I want to blow bubbles again, and slice up a fresh zucchini, and fold the laptop down and occasionally turn the damned thing off.

And I get mad at myself, too, for letting life go by. For not living more mindfully, more meaningfully. For not focusing on the now.

But you know what? Zen is great and all, but there's a reason Picasso had a housekeeper/mistress. When you're enveloped in a vision, everything else is just details.

I'm mainly writing all this out to remind myself of this part of the process, of this part of being who I am. I'm not a neat person. I'm not tidy. I don't like cooking. I get very bored playing card games with children. And when I'm throwing myself into a project, I don't want to smell the fucking roses.

And that's fine.

I'll smell the roses again when the manuscript is finished, and I'll live mindfully while I wait for the next inspiration to strike. I'd rather be in the upward cycle of creativity than bogged down with inertia, and I'm just grateful for a family that puts up with me.

Okay. Now back to life.


Mrs. Beer said...

Its so smart to embrace the scatteredness (not a word, I know) as part of the process rather than let it bring you down. I'm going to try to do that the next time I get into the part of my routine where things start going haywire. Because, they always come back to normal, so why freak out, ya know? Thank you for the insight!!

urfaqhesse said...

you can't fight the universe, so you might as well get on board :)


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Delilah S. Dawson said...

I disagree, Urfa. I most certainly can fight the universe. With, like, my elbows and shins.

jarvenpa said...

Of course you can fight the universe.

And I think, when your new manuscript is done, you need to do a painting of roses fucking. (I am trying to imagine this).

You are absolutely on the right track.

charissimo said...

Oh, honey, as someone with a hot and cold muse, I say let yourself utterly enjoy the creative streak. The blocked times are so much harder.