For the past few weeks I’ve found myself in a meta-project. After a long train of taxes-like tasks, I picked up my wife’s beat up copy of Getting Things Done by David Allen with a desire to figure out how to support myself in not just dreaming, not just talking about dreams, but in making and publishing. And Mr. Allen’s ideas helped. He has a handful of great mnemonics and simple systems which I’ve begun to integrate, such as “do it, delegate it, defer it, or drop it,” and “get it all in there and out of your head.”
Now that I’m deep into this project about projects, I’ve begun collecting bits useful to the overall project of priming the pump of creative practice. I’ve been successful in developing the habit of near-daily downloads of To Do’s of all stripes. Mr. Allen’s promise was that this would reduce anxiety, which hasn’t happened exactly. Probably because I’m just now wrestling with the next bit, which is about organizing. This seems to bleed into the bit after that, which is a bit hazy to me (not having read that far), which is about putting the actions in one’s calendar. I’ve been experimenting with it. Right at the moment, I’m feeling a bit stuck on the idea that I would schedule “creativity.” Creativity, which in my experience, is circuitous, weird, and generally takes either twice as long or half as long as I thought. I’ve been taking a stern tone with myself, I feel, by saying in my calendar “create cardboard books” for the Hot Seat project I’ve agreed to, or “mix cardboard pulp” for the paperclay project I’ve started, or “draw The Fool” on Sunday at 1pm for one hour, etc etc.
Thank you to Thomas Weiss for the link “Start Before You Have An Idea,” by Chris DeLeon, on Gamasutra.com. Thanks to Judith Martens and her blog for the image.
I think I’ll try scheduling a more random, open time in which to “Start Making Something.” That feels better. Tomorrow afternoon, for instance.
How do you manage creative practice? How do you work taxes, trips to the gas station, and Making Stuff into your heady brew?