What Shall I Do
I subscribe to Lisa Call’s blog, partly because she’s a fiber artist who makes art quilts as I once did, but mostly because of how she thinks about her work and life. In her last few posts she’s talked about accountability, goals, and structure, topics which hit home with me as I’ve been struggling for awhile with those same issues.
She quoted Jon Stewart who said “I’m a real believer in that creativity comes from limits, not freedom. Freedom, I think you don’t know what to do with yourself. But when you have a structure, then you can improvise off it and feel confident enough to kind of come back to that.”
I would phrase it differently for myself: Creativity blooms within limits. Too much freedom leaves me not knowing what to do with myself, but when my days are structured I’ve given myself focused time within which I can be even more creative.
Haven’t you noticed how busy people get more done? “If you want to get a job done give it to a busy woman”. I’ve been that busy woman who gets a lot done, but right now it’s not happening because I haven’t much structure in my life. I don’t have a paying job; I don't work to sell the art I make; I’m not involved in structured volunteerism other than marginally; I don’t answer to anyone for what I make, other than dinner every night and that’s loose, too. I’ve given up my one-time habit of setting 1- and 5-year goals and breaking them down into daily and weekly action items. And I don’t accomplish much… certainly not as much as I know I’m capable of doing or as much as I want to do.
Do any of you feel like that about your own life? Do you wish you could accomplish more? Do large swaths of time pass with nothing to show for it? I know I'm not alone.
I thought blogging would help, that I’d feel accountable to you readers and get the work done and then write about it, but you’re all so nice that almost no one questions why I haven’t been writing. I can’t put blame on you… it’s me who’s given up doing what needs to be done. I feel lazy, in a bad way.
What would happen if I set weekly studio, art business, and personal goals?
What if I wrote them down every Sunday evening and revisited them the next week and checked off the completed items?
What if I had a section in my Planner for goals and a to-do list with a yellow highlighter that I use to mark completed items?
What if my life had structure?