I don't seem to have a great attention span - I don't get lost in my work. Is that because I'm not confident in it, or not passionate about it, or just ADD? I would love some advice on how I might coax myself to be more prolific.
Who knows if you have ADD, but I know that we are living in very distractable times. I get distracted all the time. I bounce from one thing to the next. Like improv. I am currently working on an illustrated book that allows me to use collage, drawing, painting, calligraphy, writing…so I can play with many media.
Perhaps Nothing Is Wrong with You
I say quit thinking something is wrong with you. This is why I hate the idea that there is one way to create, and if you’re not doing it that way, or experiencing what others do, you’re wrong. That kind of thinking is gremlin fodder.
This is why I am so committed to helping creative people find, acknowledge and embrace their own process. What works for them. Shedding expectations and doubts. Playing in the creative zone freely.
Live Wrong-Free for a Week
Do what works for you. Give yourself a week to live in the land of ‘nothing wrong with me or what I’m doing.’ I can say this because I know you are unlikely to kill or steal or hurt anyone and say, ‘Cynthia said I could do no wrong!’.
Try it. Try a wrong-free week.
Find Your Creative Edge
Another thought. I still am not saying you have to be completely engrossed in your work for it to be legitimate. But if you are bored, that’s another thing. It could be that you need to challenge yourself more. Find your creative edge.
Look at one technical element to your work where you could buff up your skill level. For instance, I love doing calligraphy and I am CRAP at spacing. So I’ve been practicing spacing, playing with different ways to make sure the letters are evenly distributed on the page. No glaring white margin at the end.
This is a way to take a weakness and use it to be more fully engaged in my work.
So look to your own art. What’s an edge for you? What’s the next element of your work to be developed. Focus on that and see how engaged you become.
What do you think, reader? Does one have to be engrossed, in the flow, to experience satisfaction and progress? Or can we operate differently?
Where are you stuck creatively? Send me an email with your question, with Creativity FAQ in the subject line, and I'll post my answer on the blog.