Creative Distractions

Traveling has been one of the greatest creative distractions.  It takes a lot out of me so that I can’t get much writing done.  Actually, that’s an exaggeration.  It means I don’t get any writing done.

However, I have a myriad of other creative distractions that tear me away from writing.  I think the creative process is such a difficult one to understand.  Watching my kids, they are filled with a seemingly unlimited supply of creative juices.  On the other hand, they have small attention spans and few skills through which to express their creativity.  Last year we participated in the Destination Imagination program, which I highly recommend for homeschoolers, by the way.  They have a specific category for K-2 teams with its own challenge.  At the team leader training I went to, the trainer explained that many people think of Destination Imagination as a “creativity competition” which it is, kind of.  However, she said it doesn’t not teach creativity because kids already have that.  It teaches teamwork and encourages skills to harness creativity.  A fine distinction and a difficult one.

Le Petit Prince-esque shirt idea by BalletBoy. Design and sewing by moi.

I have the skills (or, at least, a few skills), but sometimes I think I’m missing that mad rush of creative flow that kids have.  I feel like my creativity is something that gets parceled out like my time.  There is only a limited amount.  When it dries up, I may as well go watch TV.

Art, or distraction from art?

Homeschooling, especially planning and finding new materials or dreaming up activities, soaks up my creative energy.  Blogging is an outlet, I’m finding, but it also drinks down a little.  Oddly, organization uses it up for me.  Occasionally I go on mad rushes to organize bits of the house or “improve” things and I find I almost never get any writing done when I’m at it.  Then there are the artistic side projects that take me away.  I did some lino and wood block printing in the winter that was excellent fun.  It rejuvenates me to find a new artistic hobby, but it also zaps that creativity allowance.  There are also sewing projects, especially T-shirts for Mushroom and BalletBoy, that take my creativity juice.

In the end, I always return to my writing.  It wants to come out and it refuses to be ignored.  When I don’t write for a long stretch, I begin to get a little anxious.  Stories build up and I have to get back to the keyboard, even if it’s just to set down a little bit.

3 thoughts on “Creative Distractions

  1. I feel exactly the same way. I’ve gotten to where I ignore the other crafty creative stuff because I know it will steal from my writing time. I want to get a sewing machine, but then I don’t want to invest in something that will only parse what little creative time I have. In the end, I think the kids inspire and feed my creativity more than anything else, but they also require so much time and energy that it is hard to answer the call to create. Great post!

  2. It’s good to hear your thoughts on this… I think one of my greatest concerns about having kids is finding time for my own creative projects. I’ve always felt like kids would bring curiosity and new ways of seeing that could feed a lot of fun work, but how do you find the time? Do you just grab little bits here and there and hope for the best? Or is there a good way to structure time with the help of your partner? -Trying to imagine how I could make it work…!

    p.s.Love your most recent entry about irrational fears! Unknown things can have scary associations that are so individual, your curiosity is such a sweet gift to your kids.

    1. I think it’s about having a partner who values your creative work as essential, not extra. And valuing it yourself. In some ways, having kids has helped me focus my creative work and value the time I have for it more.

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