Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Creative Living (Part One)

Rare night-time blog!  Rare because my desire to do anything at all productive almost always goes down with the sun, which should also explain why this week's blog is basically a link to a video.

This is a Part One because I will inevitably purchase and read (and I'm guessing - love) Elizabeth Gilbert's latest, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and inevitably write about it.  However, this amazing little gem popped up through the magic of Facebook earlier this week.

There's a 18 minute video of actor and playwright Tracy Letts giving his advice for living a creative life, accompanied by an annotated list of his 10 top pieces of advice.  Because my attention span is as short as I'm guessing most people's is these days, I just read the list at first, but, at Marc's recommendation, I've now watched the video as well, and it's well worth the time.  Just think of it as 6 three-minute cat videos or Hamilton clips or whatever it is you typically waste your time with and it won't seem so big and intimidating.

His first piece of advice, for me, is the best one - Do Nothing.  He's not saying to meditate, just...Do Nothing.  Don't listen to anything.  Don't watch anything.  Don't mess with your phone.  Just. Sit.  Let your mind wander.  As he says, "...pretty soon you'll stop thinking about your problems or your schedule or your failings and your mind will start to wander and you'll start to fantasize.  You will start to daydream."

It's incredible how rarely we do nothing.  I'm honestly hard pressed to find a moment of my day where, if I'm not doing something, I am consuming something.  Podcasts, TV, music, a book, the news.  I can feel that my brain misses that freedom because there are times I'm walking down the street listening to a podcast and I realize I haven't been paying attention to the last five minutes - and then, and only then, do I turn it off and just walk.  I wait for my brain to beg for it and tell me out loud that it needs some free time.

It doesn't have to be a long time.  He advocates a half hour, which I'm ashamed to admit sounds terrifying and impossible to me.  But how glorious for our brains to get that space and that freedom!

Here is the link again, if you didn't click it up above.  If nothing else, give the list a read.  It's fantastic advice for tuning into your creativity - and whether you're an artist or an accountant, our own personal creativity helps all of us lead happier and more successful lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment