And, as the saying goes, and the livin' is easy. Which means I'm doing way too much hanging around and not nearly enough stuff. However. That is pretty much my constant state so I won't go on about it here.
Have spent some time this summer organizing my workspace and working on staying in contact with other artists. First the workspace.
I keep telling myself that once I have the studio clean, I can move on to other things. Have now come to realize that that is probably the worst form of procrastination there is. I tell myself I'm being virtuous, by cleaning, when in reality, I'm bagging off and I know it. Shame on me. Still. Some things have gotten done in the name of procrastination. A few projects have staggered across the finish line and some really awful first drafts of work have crept into existence. In addition, nearly 15 years worth (yes you read that right - 15 YEARS worth) of magazines have been reviewed, any relevant articles torn out and the rest recycled. You see what lengths I will go to not to work?
And, as I write about this I'm recommending a book. It's called The War of Art, and it's a beautiful essay on the evils of Resistance (read here procrastination) and the divine nature of creativity. A really inspiring read. The author is Steven Pressfield, who has also written some great historical fiction.
Second, staying in contact with other artists. I have a hard time sometimes, connecting with other artists. It's probably just me, but I get freaky when it comes to making contacts with other artists. Either I love their work so much, I feel unworthy of their friendship (as in "Damn! Now they're going to think I'm a total dilettante. ) or I don't much like their work and would have a hard time being friends because I'm really bad at lying about things like that. And it strikes me that even if I was good at lying about things like that, is that really what a friendship is all about?
But I've also come to the realization, after going back to school in my forties, that I really do need to connect with other artists. There is a benefit to talking with other people who understand at least the language of what you're trying to do. As my friend Victoria says, they get it. And the connection also inspires work. It's sort of like having an assignment, having to report to your friends about the progress of your work. They give you that look when you're bagging off. Doesn't mean that the friendship should take the place of the work, and that's tempting too, but it adds another dimension to working alone. Feedback.
So I'm working on it. I've read several blogs on the creative life this summer, and it seems to me that this is a constant battle with many artists out there. Working alone, versus feeding the well by entering community and getting involved with other people out in the world. It seems like it should be such a simple thing, to balance art and life, but it's really very complex and not altogether fun.
Still. I wouldn't have it any other way I guess. Now it's nearly 3pm and I have to go out and meet up with an artist friend of mine and enjoy this great summer afternoon.