I like to think we all get this. Doesnt matter if not, because I can pretend to myself very well that ‘everyone’ gets sidetracked, its not unique, I am not the only one who struggles with it… SIGH
Well last week Arlene posted about being stuck -v – resting. She very rightly pointed out that we need to take breaks, to rest, to allow ourselves the time and space to get over being stuck and move on revitalised.
Well in my mind, sidetraction (see what I did there?) is the little sister of stuckness. Its the sneak attack from behind that lulls you into the illusion of ‘busy’ until you realise you spent the entire day engrossed in action and got nothing on your actual LIST done. How does that happen? And in fact, even as I am typing this very paragraph I am being drawn away into a couple of sidetracks that I ‘know’ will not help me finish this blogpost like I had planned. Or will it?
I see it this way. I could kick myself for allowing my brain to wander, my hands to choose different fibers than the ones I needed for that new Recipe Card yarn I am spinning, or my fingers to select the Facebook tab instead of the ‘New Post’ tab. Over and over.
I could chastise myself for getting to the end of the day and not achieving the things I had started the day wanting to get done. And I do, rather too frequently. BUT ( you knew this was coming, right?) I could also choose to see these sidetracks as necessary sustenance, feeding my motivation, pushing me to feeling deadlines more urgently and upping priorities, and nourishing my inspiration by letting me experiment with things. And thats because often the side tracks ARE the experiments. I might be halfway through, lets say, a blogpost, and suddenly have an idea for a yarn. Its wonderful to be able to pick that up and spend an hour spinning, even though its not the task at hand. OR I might be halfway through a yarn and get an idea for a weaving, and off I go and warp the loom.
When is this a problem? I guess it becomes a problem only when these side tracks get too much traction and lead to none of the priority tasks getting done. It is necessary of course to focus on responsibilities and promised undertakings first and sometimes push those sidetracks aside.
But if your ‘first’ task is your Module yarn, and you get a sudden inspiration for something else before you finished, why not go with the flow and let your mind and your creativity wander?! As part of a course on Creativity, one of our goals is to explore being creative! The outcome is not only the Module yarns themselves, but all the things you experience around the spinning of them, the designing of them, the doing of it, and this includes the ‘rest’ times AND the sidetrack times, it is all part of our creative lives.
In fact I just stopped writing that last paragraph to take this photo:
because I am sitting beside the loom and glanced over and noticed how that white texture was looking and how the colours are particularly bright with the light in the room at the moment and I thought it would be cool to share that with the Majacraft Loom Facebook group. It only took a moment out of my writing… and before that were moments being sidetracked chatting to a friend, about how I was writing about being sidetracked (of course) and he distracted me further to talk about an xbox game we are playing and that led me to the website to look at some of the gear I NEED to collect in order to keep my character colour coordinated (vital really) and in turn that led me somehow to YouTube to get some music playing in my ears in an attempt to refocus myself on writing while I listened.
See what I mean?
If you do this too, now you know, youre not alone. Its easy online to give the ‘illusion’ of being highly productive and totally focussed, what you dont see (of anyone online) is the messing about, the mucky bits, the interruptions and the sidetracks that go on ‘before’ you see their apparently effortless and amazing yarn, read their flowing nicely written blogpost or enjoy their comprehensive tutorial. I am pretty sure that behind all this lurks a little sister (I DID name her sidetracktion) that sometimes makes a simple quick task become needlessly long and turns it into a complex dance of flitting about before completion. Creativity is not a straight line.
And I reckon its all ok, however you get there 🙂
This post is no thanks to Facebook, Google Search, Pinterest, The electrician knocking at the door, Coffee breaks, my attention seeking loom, You Tube, and my good friend Andrew P whose weapon upgrade obsession led to my search to find colour coordinated armour.