Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Art of Inactivity

In January 2012 I was approached by Quarto Publishing to write a book on beadweaving. I wrote it, they titled it The Art of Beadweaving (The Art of Beadwork in the US) and it will be published in September/October this year*.

But the reality is the only art that I am truly qualified to write about is the art of doing nothing. Hours, days, years of practice have allowed me to hone my skills in Solitaire, Tetris and of course Candy Saga. Thank goodness for Facebook and Twitter - just as I began to get despondent about my inactivity along they came, together with Pinterest, Etsy and Tumblr, to justify my hours of laptop time. It’s social media marketing innit. Just call me a guru (although I never will I promise). 

Yes, I feel guilty about doing so little. That I achieve anything at all is of no comfort. Instead I berate myself for not achieving more. Constantly. The voice in my head that never stops nagging. Except when I’m playing Solitaire. Ah, that’ll be a clue then. 
Draw Something. Proving I'm not really an artist

But I’m an artist, and artists are allowed to be flakey aren’t they? Quick, Google Oscar Wilde quotes, he’ll have something pithy and comforting to say… “Being idle is very hard work because everyone is against you” True, but not quite the solace I was looking for. 

More Googling… Virginia Woolf on idling “By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream” Better. 

Bill Watterson, author of Calvin and Hobbes.“You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood. What mood is that? Last-minute panic.” and... 

Paul Rudnick, writer. “Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials. It's a matter of doing everything you can to avoid writing, until it is about four in the morning and you reach the point where you have to write.” Not just me then. 

I was going to look up more but then I found this quote from Stephen King’s 11/22/63 “The scholar's greatest weakness: calling procrastination research”

So, my list of things to do today: update my website, write some workshop notes, and bead, is no shorter. But I have blogged. And that’s something. 

*More on this in a later post. Or maybe not.