Distraction & Creativity

The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”

Mary Oliver (September 10, 1935 – January 17, 2019)

The holidays are an especially busy time of year that can leave us feeling breathless and bereft of creativity. This article came to me by way of a dear iconographer just at the moment in time when our instructors are discussing ways to keep peacefulness, interior calm, and concentration in the classroom, in a season when the world outside bustles.

You are in charge of your creativity, your power and your time.

So this week, I am linking to an article intended to inspire the artist within to to avoid self distraction at all cost — a quest to find creativity in solitude and moving toward the source.

For me, the takeaway message was that we have the power to control the degree to which we allow ourselves to be distracted. We choose whether or not to give priority to errands, chores and the “busy-ness” of life. We are also in charge of our inner voice and whether or not we allow it to be a distraction.

Click here to read this interesting article on “The Third Self: Mary Oliver on Time, Concentration, the Artist’s Task, and the Central Commitment of the Creative Life.”

Mary Oliver wrote that creative work requires solitude, concentration without interruptions, including those interior behaviors and voices who can be the most difficult; they are negative self talk, criticism, doubt, to do list reminders, and behaviors that interfere with mental, emotional, and spiritual privacy.

Over 200 years ago, Eugene Delacroix lamented the necessary torment of avoiding social distractions in creative work — long before social media & screen time.

Click here to read a summary on Mary Oliver’s essays in the collection called “Upstream.”

I hope you enjoy this moment of peace.