The ART of Wasting Time

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If there was a certificate for time wasting, it would be hanging on my wall. Top of my class 2017. When I read my last post I was on fire. WHAT HAPPENED?

It seems the winter frosts have placed my creativity into a deep slumber. Walking past my art room a giant canvas glares back at me. Three white cockatoo’s flying high across a red, magenta and orange sky. Only its incomplete. The customer has given me the permission to take my time, (NOT GOOD) its taking way too long. I promise to get to it but the days seem to drop off, one by one and it never gets done.

I scan my desktop, opening a file that I can’t remember starting. There I discover the half written scratchings of a possible blog post dated back in May. It never quite formed in my brain or made it onto the page. Line drawings of birds sit waiting for a splash of colour and some detail to bring them to life for the market stall. The picture book sits gathering dust on the work bench. (I know you have heard it all before in my newsletters. Along with my not-so-helpful tips on keeping on track). Numerous attempts at my cover illustration and a total of zero designs made it to the rendering pile. Time does not wait, whilst I procrastinate over each image and if its good enough. My motivation that I bragged about in April had vanished.

It’s like someone hit the stop button on my creative drive. I guess its a kind of blockage similar to writers block. Frozen on a different timeline these ideas and dreams sit waiting for me to return. I imagine if this was someone else’s workshop I had stumbled upon ……. what would I say about all this unfinished business.

I would say to me.

“You silly woman! you are almost finished that vibrant painting, get it done. And please no more excuses on why the picture book is not ready! Just get the last few illustrations finished and go back to your cover later. Get that picture book ready for printing. Wake up Kath time is precious.”

But the other practical side of me would reply……

“Im sorry I never realised taking on a part-time job would do such damage to our creative activities. Life gets in the way. This has to be the longest time I have gone without writing or creating anything. It’s not a good feeling, its like a part of me simply went on a holiday.”

The thing is my gorgeous husband has been putting money away for the print costs for my book. He believes in the beauty of my dreams why can’t I? There are no more excuses left. I am going to self publish with Balboa Press and sell signed copies at my local art market stall (the dream). You would think it would motivate, but instead something is stopping me from doing the last few pages. The fear of failure indeed, but we all go through this.

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To my credit I was out in the real world learning new things. Not creative skills but still challenging my middle-aged brain. Learning karate, which has blown my mind and stretched a few tired muscles I can tell you. Learning the ins-and-outs of my part-time position at the a local department store.

I wish time would stay put, as I work out the new areas of my day for creativity. Finding a balance between work, kids, life and keeping my dreams alive. Now I find myself with five months of this glorious year left to get it done.

The awareness of this may get me through, that and the fact I gave myself a serious hammering in this post.

Don’t let the rest of this year get away from you. Get out there and do the thing you dream of doing, do it today. Im happy to say after writing this post I finished the painting and now its time to illustrate the rest of the book. (To be honest, I wrote this part before finishing art so it would motivate me). It worked!

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Feel free to share any tips. Anything on pushing through the last barriers of my work in progress, (i.e long awaited picture book).

As I sit here on the first frostless winters morn, sipping a coffee on the deck. A warm breeze reaches me. The promise of spring brings a feeling of endless possibilities to come.

NOW GET TO WORK Kath!

About Minuscule Moments

Everybody has a DREAM. Today is the first day of the rest of my writing life. Its a lonely world out there when you are learning the craft. This year, as the same as last year, I want to finish my first children's picture book. I have learn't many wonderful lessons on this journey. You are never too old to learn.
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76 Responses to The ART of Wasting Time

  1. Beautiful painting Kath! Motivation is a pesky thing and I’ve certainly had my peaks and troughs of it this year, but what can I say, it has its cycles like anything else and it will return…

  2. I agree with Andrea, this productive/unproductive (secure/insecure) is a cycle for me too. When I’m working and feeling pretty good about it I want to remember to tell myself when the dip comes that even a tiny bit of work advances me forward. Of course some days even tiny feels insurmountable. Then, in that case I hope I will be kinder to myself. 🙂 Your birds make me smile, Kath!

  3. 1) The chronically ill have to face the craziest question on the verge of a real, actual breakthrough they may have been blessed to chance upon: do I (really) want to get well? There is a safety in the familiar, even the most burdensome kind; and the fear of the unknown, as you say, even of the most promising. What responsibilities, expectations of me might the new freedom or success attend?

    2) We all need periods of rest to revamp the creativity.

  4. Dalo 2013 says:

    Ha, ha ~ I’d like to think I would give you a run for your money in regards to being top of the class is wasting time 🙂 It is my favorite pastime! Absolutely love the painting – vibrant and full of energy, the perfect ingredients to pursuing and making the best of the time available, which sometimes means wasting a bit of time to build up the creativity and motivation 🙂

  5. messycrayons says:

    I loved reading this, my people.

  6. I was wasting time when I found your post – it is one thing that I am good at

  7. Pingback: The ART of Wasting Time — Minuscule Moments of Inspiration – Usunshine.com

  8. misifusa says:

    Your talent is astounding! Please feel motivated to finish! You have so much promise in you and I am anxiously awaiting to hear that you have finished your book, your canvas! I love that your gorgeous hubby has so much faith in you – we all do Kath! We are here applauding dear friend! xo

    • Yvonne thank you I guess my biggest block is looking at illustrations and thinking they could be better. But my sisters tell me to just get the first book done and start on the next and the next. Thanks for your kind words and support. xxx

      • misifusa says:

        Please don’t hesitate nor second guess yourself Kath. You are very talented and your work is beautiful! It shines like you do! Take the advice of your sisters! Go for it!! xo

  9. Kath, this is truly vibrant and gorgeous! I love the red behind the white. I think when we have young families, juggling time is a challenge. Maybe you are already “living the dream?” 🙂

    • Yes Patsy living the dream because like you I am happy when creating art, but I still need to stop procrastinating whether my illustrations are good enough and finish. Im getting stuck on cover design too. Its like anything if I do a little each day it becomes a lot. One foot in front of the other and hopefully I will get there.

  10. Judy says:

    Oh wow, I think I am the queen of time wasting and procrastinating. Think of al the things I could do if I used all my minutes instead of binging on Netflix Midsomer Murders or some such thing. But, in reality we all need to recharge our emotional and creative batteries…doing nothing…or nothing related to the thing we think we need to be doing. Maybe even especially at the near end of a project like your book. It is kind of being in the eye of a hurricane, sitting in a lull before something really big happens. But, do not fret, you will not fail, your picture book will be so cute and beautiful. Consider me presold. I want my first edition signed copy hot off the presses.

    PS: Love that dramatic painting and the free flying white birds.

  11. minnasaju says:

    you are amazing….loved all your work

  12. in says:

    What a great read and art piece!

  13. RMW says:

    You could be talking about me. I have so many projects I am working on but I seem to waste more time than actually working. it’s hard to get started but once I do I get lost in the process and wonder why I took so long to get to it. And that is a really beautiful painting.

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