I never have enough time to do all the things I want to do, and that makes my rational let’s-get-things-done side fight with my let’s-play-and-make-art side. It’s an uneven fight.
Have you ever seen a child have a tantrum in a public place? They scream, fall down on the floor, and pump their arms and thump their feet. Then, when the parent tries to stand them up by grabbing an arm, the kid uses it as a pivot point to spin around on. That’s the way my muse acts when she doesn’t get her way.
I try to avoid it.
The “problem” is that I get lost chasing ideas down rabbit holes a lot, but I just gotta chase those rabbits because they lead me to piles carrots and sacks of gold. No wait, that’s what it feels like to my muse. I love chasing rabbits because they reward me with new ideas and energy. And listen, I’m like one of Pavlov’s dogs. If I get rewarded for a behavior, then that’s what I’ll do from then on.
Unlike parents of tantrum throwing kids, I know when I’m beat, so rabbit chasing takes priority and I draw or write after that. This is a hard thing to balance because it unleashes crazy energy. The kind of energy that pulls you along in the direction it wants to go, and not the well behaved kind that you can hop on and ride to where you planned to go. (I changed from the rabbit to a horse metaphor in those last sentences, in case you got lost.)
With all this in mind, I looked at lots of time management systems but none of them are meant for people who run on tantrum throwing muse power, so I invented this non-forced, non-linear, trust-myself-to-do-what-needs-to-be-done system that doesn’t stress me or make my muse hurl herself onto the floor.
For example, this post was written quite a while ago but it didn’t feel done, but today, after I’d chased a few rabbits, my energy went right to it. I reworked the entire thing, and now it’s better, which is another reward. (Make it a chocolate chip next time, Mr. P..) So there you have it. I don’t power my creative side at all, I just hang on for the ride.
After I arrive at my destination, all the rabbits and horses go off to graze, leaving me to do the work, the brats. I’m happy with things this way, though, which is probably what I’m searching for in the first place.
I’m sure this illustration makes it easier to understand! No? Oh dear, you’ll have to take my word for it then.
I’m guessing the point is that knowing what your process is, and sticking to it even if your friends glance at each with raised eyebrows when they think you’re not looking, is a huge big deal. So, my pencil friends, bravely walk down that curvy path, and that path, and that path. You’ll get somewhere eventually.
Walking on with ya,
A note to everyone who’s written to me: Thank you so much for encouraging me to keep posting my drawing lessons, and my life lessons too. I truly love to write these posts, but it’s knowing that you enjoy them that helps me pick up the ball after I’ve dropped it again, and again and again. (Geez, life is hard, and humbling.) Hugs and kisses to you all … and you know who you are.
A note to eyebrow raisers: Just so you know, artists are supernatural sensory-intake machines. They know what you know before you know it, if you know what I mean, and they are never not looking. Don’t worry though, after blabbing all we knew a few times as kids, most of us know how to be discreet now. (Unless we just want to mess with you.)