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Archive for June 4th, 2010

I stayed the weekend at my parents’ house, primarily so that I could attend the local veteran vehicle pageant, which has miles of bric-a-brac stalls and is always a great day or two out. I spent about a day and a half looking around the pageant, and the rest of the time in my old room, catching up on various things.
I realised I haven’t had so much time to think in absolutely ages. To be free of enforced conversation, and just have the opportunity to walk up and down looking at the exhibits and enjoying my own space was bliss.
Alone in my room, I found I got more done than I probably have for months. I caught up on a number of projects, and…guess what…I actually read a book from start to finish without having to put it aside to finish another day. I find that when I can read an entire publication like that, the likelihood of enjoying and absorbing the content is much greater than when I am forced to snatch a few pages’ worth in between interruptions. And of course there is an immense satisfaction in being able to cross off vast numbers of items on my “To Do” list in one day.
I estimate it takes about three days of such solitary decompression for true creative urges to start resurfacing. During the usual course of a busy lifestyle, they simply get suppressed, because there isn’t the time or the freedom to act on them. I started to think of all sorts of new things that I should like to do and work on, but uh-oh, my three day vacation is up.
I am aware that I have probably had to try extra hard not to be grouchy and snappy this week, because just as the creativity started bubbling to the surface, I had to go back to normal life. And to cap it all, it’s been an extra specially demanding week, not least because of an office relocation.
Just as we read yet another news article where a psycho goes on a shooting spree and gets reported in the newspapers as “a loner”, I again wonder whether I am the only “loner” on Planet Earth who actually needs solitude as a catalyst for creativity, rather than having my head twisted out of shape by it.
Or perhaps true creative individuals just need long stretches of uninterrupted percolation time for the ideas to surface, and then even longer stretches of uninterrupted time to bring those ideas to realisation.
I have no sympathy with persons, organisations, companies etc. who want creative solutions, but equally do not provide any private space where individuals can come up with them. Instead we get endless “brainstorming” meetings, and so on.  Have any truly creative ideas been produced by (a) a group; (b) an individual when surrounded and constantly interrupted by other people? Indeed, is there such a thing as a creative extrovert?
(By the way, I’m not at all worried about whether I’m upsetting any extroverts (Homo Interruptus – as I shall refer to them from hereon) here.  My comments are mild compared to what I have had to listen to my whole life.)
Anyway, the thrust of the message is – if you want me to produce, I need my headspace.  That is non-negotiable. And if that makes me unsociable, well, what is more important: being everybody’s friend, or actually getting something done in life?

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