Just wanted to share this very cool Q&A session with one of my students, Meg (with her permission, of course). Meg is writing a fantasy trilogy. I thought the way she analyzed the situation was awesome, and her savvy questions show the kind of thinking workflow-aware artists develop.
I also think it’s a great showcase for how the workflow lingo makes it easy for one creative to explain what she’s going through, and for another creative to make workflow suggestions.
“…That experience left a deep and long-lasting impression on me. A book about writing helped me become a better animator; what did that mean?”
Below is the book’s preface, in which I tell the story of how and why I decided to write it.
We all start life as creatives. As kids, we are fascinated with making stuff, and we have an imagination that knows no boundaries. Some of us lose interest early on; others continue to create as a hobby their entire lives; and some of us make it our career.
We quickly discover that professional creativity comes with a sting. It is no longer the relaxing pastime it once was. Creativity is a wild creature, and it doesn’t like it when you try to harness it with plans and deadlines. Frustration and pain often dominate the first few years in one’s creative career.
“I won’t completely deny the elements of luck and inspiration, but in my experience – in most cases, when work doesn’t flow, chances are you’re not letting it. As usual, it’s very much about the process.”
Don’t you love it when work just flows? Everything you do falls right into place, like magic. Then there are those other times. Depressing, frustrating times. Things just won’t fall into place, and trying to force them only makes it worse. That’s the opposite of flow, also known as “feeling stuck”.
What makes the difference?
I won’t completely deny the elements of luck and inspiration, but in my experience – when work doesn’t flow, chances are you’re not letting it. As usual, it’s very much about the process.
Here are four questions to help you figure out if your working habits sabotage your creative flow.
The quote in the title (“Just as soon as I’ve checked my Emails”) is from a masterpiece of comedy and storytelling called “Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack adventure”. If you haven’t seen it yet, you really owe it to yourself to do so. Below is a short excerpt with probably the funniest, most accurate description of procrastination ever. Have a look:
Every artists in the world knows this to be true. We’ve all been there, some of us quite frequently. The big question is: Why? How come we find these stupid excuses not to do what we’ve chosen to do? After all, no one makes you become an artist – it’s not like taking out the garbage or doing your taxes. In fact, you’re probably doing it in spite of skeptical friends and family. You should love doing this thing! And yet, here you are looking at yet another cat video on Facebook. Why?