“We’re on a break.” Knowing when to pause in the process


They call it work for a reason.  I had the unexpected luxury of a 4 day weekend due to a holiday and a snowstorm.  I am trying to work in the studio again today but I am struggling.  The couch is calling me, the laundry needs to be done, the dishes are stacking up, snow needs to be shoveled.  My new altered book project is spread out before me, but I can’t get it together to work steadily on it.

I have been on an art making spree the past few days but am starting to hit the wall.  Motivation and enthusiasm are quickly waning.  I guess even fun can get old after a while.  It’s time to shift gears.

Why am I telling you all of this?  Isn’t this blog about encouraging you to make art at every opportunity?  Of course.  But it is also about the process, the whole process.  And today I am at a stage where I need to take a breather and focus on something else.  I still love what I am doing with this altered book, but it is becoming dangerously tedious.  There is something to be said for sticking with a tedious task, but I know myself well enough to know that is a recipe for disaster.  If I keep going with this process right now,  my distaste for it will grow.  Like any healthy relationship, my book and I need some space from each other right now.

I want to complete this book and my ideas for it just keep growing.  I am so excited about the concept and the look of it so far.  I am going to honor my excitement about it by setting it aside for a while.  When I come back to it, it will be with fresh eyes and renewed energy.  I may come back to it tonight, or maybe next week.  I am going to focus now on regenerating and organizing in order to clear my head.

You too can give yourself permission to take a break, walk away, give some space.  Anything focused on too intently for too long will go stale.  The best way I can take care of myself right now and protect my process is to complete some other tasks.  When I get some other monkeys off of my back, I know I will feel refreshed and ready to work again.  Not quitting here, just pausing in the process.  And that’s okay.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. maggie thomas
    Dec 27, 2010 @ 11:58:22

    I think that your work is amazing. Did you speak at the art therapy meeting in Dallas last year? We have alot to learn from your art.

    Thanks,
    Maggie thomas

    Reply

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