I set aside this month to draft a new play. As November turned to our twelfth month this week, everything besides that play is tugging at my elbows. Answer this email, get to these extra meetings, do these favors for these people, get into the back and forth scheduling message train, speed ahead to important deadlines and end-of-residency needs, answer cries for help, moderate disputes, fill out this unexpected paperwork, say yes to new projects down the road but they need attention right here and now to discuss possibilities, attend to next steps in next month's play readings, get this all-important submission reading done, figure out how to answer to these other opportunities at my feet, put out this fire...
This is nothing unusual. These are the normal ins-and-outs of a week of a creative and professional life I love. I'm a fan of everything I've done this week (and am doing, doing, doing...). Yes, the tasks all seemed to avalanche at once at the top of a week that was at the onset devoted to new writing, which makes them all suspect as turncoats. More likely, however, these action items are only 10% more persistant than a typical week's details.
The same thing happens to every artist I know (and don't know): a thing must be created, so everything else begs for our attention.
That's okay. There is no ideal time. We must make something where we are now.
So this for me, for you, for anyone who needs to make something right now, something I'm learning more from yoga classes than writing courses:
There is no past, no future.
There is only this moment.
What do you need right now?
What will help you create what you need to make?
Time? Space? Quite?
Get that. Find that. Endeavor that. Right now.
Guard this time.
Set aside the space.
This day. Or afternoon. Or hour. Or 20 minutes. Or ten.
Take care of your art.
Take care of your artist.
Create what you need to make right now.
That email can wait. Call that person back later. Wait to fill out that paperwork.
They will be there waiting for you, I promise.
Give yourself this moment. Don't even finish reading this entry.
Make your thing. Right now.
And then thank yourself for it.
Give yourself permission.
If you need an external signed note, I'm handing you your permission slip right now.
You can do this.
In gratitude for this arts practice session.
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Process notes on a work in progress (me). This mostly contains raw rough content pulled out of practice notebooks. Occasional posts also invite you into the way I work, with intermittent notes on the hows and whys on the whats I make. Less often you may also find prompts and processes I've brought to workshops, as well as surveys that help me gather material for projects. Similar earlier posts from years ago can be found on: