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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Goals, Structure, and the Pursuit of Creativity

When my friends ask me how my book is progressing I start to feel guilty. Because it isn't progressing.

I love the research, the outlining, the rearranging of sections, and the designing of graphics. But now, faced with editing to fit the publisher's formats and guidelines, it has turned in to an annoying chore on my to-do list.

And that's the problem. As soon as I added "edit book" to my to-do list it became something that intrudes on my free time. Something that has to be scheduled.

Now society today has become over-scheduled, in my opinion. At work we have goals and tasks. At home we have schedules, as in, must get my son/daughter to band/soccer practice, followed by dinner, homework, laundry, etc. ad infinitum. The trouble is, to be creative, you have to have down time while the idea pot bubbles in our subconcious. A big part of creativity is dreaming, thinking, staring at cloud formations and otherwise doing nothing, and it's this so-called "doing nothing" that is severely frowned upon by whatever powers that be govern our lives.

As with all things, everything in moderation. Don't confuse day-dreaming with procrastination. If you're having trouble reaching a goal maybe it's something that you think you want, but you don't really have the burning desire to take it to the next level.

As much fun as putting together the book was, do I really want to see it published? Or maybe I just enjoyed the creative exercise of producing a book?

Time will tell. Stay tuned.