Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Creatives Clutter

Perfect blog post over at Root Simple ! It's all about the creative person's clutter and the curse of dabbling in many interests! I'm definitely a "...just in case" kinda guy! crap.

Here's a small extract, but i strongly suggest a read of the full post.

Creative people seem to have two kinds of production. There’s the work they actually do, the kind with tangible results, and then there’s the work they think they might do sometime in the future. Imaginary work. Theoretical work. They have tools and materials they actually use regularly, and then they have other tools they keep around...just in case.

Just in Case

Three dangerous little words, Just in Case. Dangerous because they are slippery. Just in case of what? Just in case when?

Just in case is a clause which stretches to the end of time, or more realistically, to the end of you.  At which point your heirs will heave all your just in caseinto the nearest dumpster while muttering about what a pack rat you were.

Just in case can be apocalyptic thinking (“This will be valuable when the oil runs out.”).  It is also that tiny persistent voice in any creative person’s head which says, “I could make something with that..someday.” It’s also the nagging voice is the frugal person’s head which says, “Better hold on to that. If I don’t need it, someone will.”

Just in case is not a useful category in which to place any belonging. Get rid of this category as an excuse for keeping junk around. We can be producers without being hoarders.

It’s real, useful and secure only when it is in your hand or under your eye

The problem with accumulating materials and supplies which we are not using immediately is that we lose track of these things. We forget where they are. We forget we have them at all. How useful are these things at that point?
The truth is, if you don’t know where it is, can’t get to it because it’s buried somewhere, or have forgotten it altogether, it functionally doesn’t exist anymore. You’ve lost it. You lost it long ago. All you’re holding onto is a spacial and psychic burden.

... and another little clip, because i know how hard it can be to click a link sometimes :_)

#2 Let go of old interests

Creative people are curious people. We go through a lot of creative phases. And in each phase, we accumulate equipment and supplies specific to that phase. Once we go onto a new thing, we often don’t return to our old thing.

Sometimes a phase doesn’t even get off the ground. You end up holding onto a tool or an instrument or supplies or a kit that you bought because of an impulse that never took root.
Either way, we accumulate a lot of stuff which we are not using and most likely will never use again. We like to keep these things because we think we might want to go back to them someday, but we should remember that there will always be some new craft or skill or activity to intrigue us. That is our nature.

It’s rather like books. We keep books because we think we might want to re-read them some day, but in truth there are very few books we love enough to re-read. The others just weight down the shelf–mostly because we are distracted by all the new books. (Shiny new books! Shiny new crafts!)
If you look back on your creative history, I’ll bet you’ll find that you’ve rarely returned to an older interest–or conversely, you have a steady core interest which takes up most of your creative energy.
I believe there are two basic types of creative people. There are those who commit to a skill and practice it the rest of their lives. I call those people the Masters. And then there’s the rest of us, those of us who love learning new things and who are always changing interests. I call us the Dabblers. (Fondly)

Masters might accumulate too much stuff around their center of interest, and need to prune a bit, but Dabblers have it much worse. The strata of our former interests fill our closets and garages. It’s hard to let go of these old materials, but it’s vital to do so, to make room for new ones to come in.
The more room you have for your current passion, the more room you have to spread out and really express yourself. Imagine clean cupboards. Imagine organized, easily accessed tools. Image open workspace  for the taking. It doesn’t have to be a dream. You just have to let go of the past.