Thursday, 2 January 2014

Why Resolutions don't work, and you won't find any HERE..!!

I've had a look at a few arty blogs in the past couple of days and the theme seems to be 'Resolutions' - and one or two are a bit overwhelmed or unsure of their near-future creative path. Some even mention the Winter Blues. Whatever NEXT?
I have some thoughts. Resolution is resolving a PROBLEM. There's no problem, you just need to make a DECISION.

Firstly, I don't think resolutions work - even publicly announced ones. Words are only words unless you feeeeeel them. Words are an expression of the feeling, otherwise they are empty. Drawing, painting, being at your desk, being inspired, getting ON with it are personal experiences. Personal and Intimate. No matter how much whooping or shouting from the rafters, no matter how much anticipating or cheering, the Activity, the Action, the Experience (in an ongoing fashion) is Singular. Single Focus. Solitary.

Creativity is NOT instigated through making a resolution on a given date in the year.. (oh, PLEASE...!)

It is NOT a group acitivity. Of course, colliding with creative others (or even just Others) is often wonderful for our creative spirits, and can inject us with enthusiasm - but to take that enthusiasm and translate it into personal creative activity is another thing. A different branch on the same tree, if you like.

Let's stick with trees for our analogy, for I love trees. Creativity is the root of us. The root is embedded, grounded, holding us together. We are Earthed. Ideas are like life blood - they flow up from the roots and burst out the top of our highest branches, scattering the birds in our excitement! Those top branches are free to sway and bend in the breeze, safe because of those big strong roots. And in between is the trunk. Which connects all parts of us together. The little twigs, the branches that grow a bit off-kilter, the leaves and the blossom. Oh yes - we're a tree with flowers and fruits. There are, of course, not too many trees flowering or fruiting on the 1st of January..

Trees don't speak much. Yet, they DO connect with us. They make sounds, creaking and swishing and cracking and groaning. And they are gorgeous. They breathe. They help us breathe.

Creativity does not require words, or a forum. Oh Lord, who invented the Forum?! For me, the act of publicly 'showing' things on forums, while appearing to be laudible, is in fact the kiss of death. If a forum jump-starts you, all to the good. But remember, the jump-start is all we are looking for - NOT the be all and end all answer to All Things. This doesn't mean that I don't think you should join things - there is nothing better than a great class, a great conversation, a great sharing. But if we talk too much, we're merely theorizing, not practicing. We are holding lots of interesting information but not producing anything. To practice gives more matter and enthusiasm to the next conversation. But the conversation is not the point. The point is personal practice.

So. If you've not done as much drawing or painting or poetry writing or whatever your creative choice is recently, then firstly, forgive yourself. It's ok.

If you want to do more, then do more. Start with a small plan. Robert Genn's advice is - Go to your room. That's a great one. Go and sit at your desk and don't leave it. Sooner or later you'll start, even if it's only to relieve the boredom of just sitting there. It might even feel good to be just sitting there.

Busyness - has it occurred to you that perhaps you don't need a routine, but a regime...?! Take no prisoners in the act of getting going.

Focus - this means giving it some serious attention. It means Work. And how fortunate that the more we focus, the harder we work, the more involved we become, the more into it we get. And once we're into it, we're THERE.

Inspiration - this is, I'm afraid, a bit of a Myth. If you wait till you're inspired, you may be waiting a long time. If, however, you decide to do something and start, lo and behold, inspiration will COME! We just have it a bit back to front.

Oh yes, and making a mess is important. Make sure you make a mess. See below..

Go to your desk now. Focus. You have begun.

Here's me writing, blogging and painting two paintings at once.. Of trees!


  1. Loved your blog post. I am so looking forward to "colliding with creative others" on Thursday. I have been spending so much time wasting time recently whether it be on the computer or staying in bed too long. As for "going to my room" that is a problem in itself, it is so much a mess with so many part done projects I barely know how to begin???maybe tomorrow

  2. Yes, I can see that would be a problem, if you can't actually get INTO your room... Perhaps I should say to you, go TIDY your room...!

  3. You have a described me well, and what a great post. Just the kick up the backside I needed.. Sooo I am going to do what you suggest, forgive myself, go to my room and take it from there

  4. Oh Shirley! Well, don't even stop for a glass of water, the more suffering for your art the better!!! I don't expect to hear from you for some time... ! x