Friday, April 3, 2020

Finding a Little Discipline on Off the Wall Friday

 I was thinking this week how blessed I was to have my job.  It's like a rock that I can cling onto as the river of this virus rushes by.  Then that it got me thinking, what I liked about being a sales rep. Its definitely not the pay or the prestige, because it turns out that helping senior ladies catalog shop all day has neither of those qualities.  Its the fact that #1....everyday you know what to expect with out it being too boring and #2 ... I've developed the skills to make me good at it.    So even when things seem like they are totally out of control, the things that you can control give you comfort.

And in today's climate....I think we can all use a little comfort.

So what if I took those principals and applied them to my creative life which has not been steady at all these last couple of menofog years.

hmmmmmm.....where to start.......well when I first took my job, I totally thought I was going to be fired.  I was a mess.  I had never worked as an hourly worker and never had to account for every moment of everyday.  Never had my every word scrutinized and judged.  Like I said ...a mess.  So what did I do to turn it around????

1.  Create a systematic routine method.  When I work I do the same thing over and over.  I start everyday the exact same way with the exact same tools and take the same amount of breaks.  You can do this with your artistic life.  Start every day in your studio the same way.  A good idea is to a To-Do list already marked  out BEFORE you enter the day. This can be as simple as leaving where you left off neatly on your work space or if you are anal like me making a checked off list in your planner.   When I'm in my studio I set my Alexa at an hour and a half so I work steadily until break time.   The more routine ... the more disciple....the more you'll accomplished.  I clean up my space at the end so I can repeat the whole system over again.

2.  Create a consistent body of work.  My job has all sorts of goals and targets that we are trying to reach.  I get daily and monthly reports on how I'm doing.  I found these a useful tool in completely my ultimate objective (at work its to be #1 in Sales).  In this light, setting small goals with each new piece will lead to successful  body of work.  Think about what you want to get better and keep that in mind as you work through your piece.  THEN the next piece push it a little farther ...a little better.

3.  Stay on Your PathSeveral times over the years, management will ask me to try out a new system or a pet project they have going.  Every single time it has detracted from my main job and cost me money and stress.  The lesson??  Don't get distracted from the goals that you have set.  Pick your path and stay on it.  Don't let every new technique, new fad, etc etc push you out the creative voice you have chosen.

Wow... writing this all out has really opened my eyes.  I mean when you know where you are going you will eventually get there....and a lot quicker...and without a lot of stress .... and tears.  Okay now I just gotta get some discipline in my creative life like I have in my day job!

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Routine is my word, as I'm working from home. I found a way to be organized and not working too much!
Take care and stay healthy

Melva said...

Thanks for the pep talk. I think you are right on target. Blessings,

LA Paylor said...

when you know where you're going... brilliant
I'm not a planner, I gleefully careen from thing to thing, but when driven I can forget all other things. I do straighten the studio each night, putting things away to be able to step into fresh space each time and continue.thanks for a great post as always, thoughtful and inspirational.

Margaret said...

I am someone who thrives on routine -- to the point, often, of losing the ability to be spontaneous. Making original art took me outside that rigid box, but under current duress I find I've crawled back into it. I'm seeking out Other People's Instructions, rhythmic ways to create: knitting simple patterns, cutting and piecing fabric. I've long had an early morning routine that includes Morning Pages (Julia Cameron's inspiration) and regular walking during the day depending on weather. But the art? Originality is taking a back seat to comfort right now. May you and yours be safe and well. :-)

Jo said...

I take the middle road on routine. I try to build it in, but I'm always open to persuasion to go off the rails. The only worthwhile tip I can pass on is to prep whatever project you're working on for the next step. If you're piecing, press seams and line up the pieces for the next sewing step. If you're hand sewing, have the needle threaded and started for the next whatever. That way I can slip in and do 15 minutes of the next step without the excuse of having to prep it.