Thursday, March 10, 2011
On being utterly ensconced
I am so deep in this book project right now that I've scarcely time to do anything else.
That's good, mind you. I really enjoy it. I get really into a project as stimulating as this one and don't have much trouble focusing. I am able to budget once a week off of the cleaning time. Today was one of those. My art-only days. They are usually 10-12 hour days solid painting -- the bulk of the work gets done then. The composing and sketching and blocking. Nothing but audiobooks, radio, podcasts, music, tea (LOTS of tea) and painting, with occasional breaks for a quick bite here and there.
The rest of the working week it's paint for 1.5-2 hours, clean houses for 3-6 hours, then back home for about 3-5 hours of painting time. Those days finishing or beginning is what gets done, as well as a lot of the other things that slip by on the full painting days. (Like washing the dishes or cooking batches of rice.) On these days I bring little slips of paper around with me in the car that say things like: Think about: what machine wants? and I have my sketches and the drawing board, in case I think of anything.
This is really more or less what I usually do anyway. The difference here is I'm in full-on Production Mode all the time, and not the usual ebb and flow that working on your own has. Right now I'm chasing after ideas with a butterfly net, rather than sitting under a tree waiting for ideas to come to me.
The consequences are subtle. The butterfly net method uses a lot more energy than the tree-sitting method, so I also am trying hard to keep rigidly to my schedule of up-at-five-thirty-to-bed-with-a-book-no-later-than-nine. This estranges one from one's peers. Especially since I work pretty much ALL the rest of the time, with the notable exception of weekends. I still try and have weekends free of project work, though I end up getting other projects done then: making bread, organizing stuff, culling things to Make Room For Anthony, writing emails to people explaining why I haven't been talking to them.
I suspect this is how people get a reputation for being "reclusive," though in my case it's not so much eschewing people and their good company, but it's more like having an inner clock set to a different time zone, and burning passionately for all the wonderful things there are to do. Lately I've been looking up hikes I want to go on once the weather clears. Garden time is looming there in the horizon and soon I'll have even more to do.
It's all good stuff and I enjoy it immensely. I find solitude incredibly productive.