what am i doing?

It seems that the web around me is abuzz with people who share my frame of mind right now. A whole pile of things have shown up that completely click with where I am and what I am working toward. First, I should say that my untitled album project is moving along nicely. It’s a little strange that it’s going as well as it is and that I’m really enjoying the material even a week or more after calling it “done-ish.” I have some strong opinions on why that is. More about that as the project moves on.

Despite the fact that things are going well and I’m producing solid work on a regular schedule, I really miss posting things as soon as they’re mixed. It was nice to see people downloading mp3s and sending me email to let me know how it was going. But I am beginning to subscribe to the theory that if I want to create a collection that has continuity and should be taken as a whole, I need to be sure that it all goes out at once. It’s like telling someone about your great novel idea before the book is in any kind of draft state. There’s no drive to finish it because the cat is out of the bag and the story is told. I don’t want that to happen to me (again). But that feedback was immediate and felt really good. There was a great post about this desire to work in plain sight at Mildly Creative and you can read it here: Creating With The Door Open. I really get what he’s saying and since I just gave you a link, I don’t really need to go on about it here. Let’s just say that I will be posting something in the form of audio every week like I was doing with my sketches before summer hit to fill this gap for myself.

no worries

I have also been spending a lot of time analyzing how I do my creative work in the midst of my fulltime job and other assorted responsibilities. When thinking about living a dual existence, I often go back to Charles Ives. He’s certainly a hero of mine compositionally but he also gives me an idea of what one can do creatively while living a 9 to 5 (or 9 to 9) life. Another one to add to that list is T.S. Eliot. I’m a fan of his writing but I never really knew anything about the man. There was a post at Lateral Action about Eliot and how he managed to be as successful as he was while being a banker during the day and a poet at night. His wasn’t a lifestyle I would emulate, but he’s an inspirational character to be sure. Check out the article here: The T.S. Eliot Guide to Success.

A lot of this thinking comes from a brief discussion I had with my brother last week about something that my mom said a few months back. She made a comment about the fact that when she had only two hours to sit and write she would simply not do it because that wasn’t enough time to really dig in. Only. Two. Hours. One might imagine how that went over with the father of a 2 year old who might get one hour a day to devote to creative work. Let us say that I was not sympathetic to her situation. Apples to oranges? Maybe. But that apple sure has a lot of time on her hands from where this orange is sitting. It started me down the path of looking at what it means to work within the constraints of any given moment. Like I said the other day, breaking the rules is easier when you know them but I would add that having no rules at all or breaking them all the time doesn’t provide enough structure for good work to be done. A nifty post at Abundance Blog covers some of this nicely. Read it here: The Key to Success: Resourcefulness (Creativity + Determination). What I take from that and the things that have been bouncing around in my head is that we need a bedrock of boundaries to build on. Without some kind of block to whittle down the possibilities there are no limits and without limits there really is no imperative for action. Seriously, if mountains were easy to climb would anyone do it? Probably. But there wouldn’t be cool IMAX movies about it now would there?

That’s a lot of links. I don’t usually do that, but everything seems so related to where I am right now that it would be foolish to ignore.

Leave a Comment