Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Workaholism as a Creative Block

Workaholism is an addiction, and like all addictions it blocks our creative energy. If we're too busy to write a play, to finish that paint, to take that sailing class, or to shoot that film, we're probably too busy to listen to our creative inner voice. Rather than trusting our intuition, our talent, our skill, our desire, we are afraid of where this creative energy could take us and we choose to be blocked. At least when we are blocked, we know who and what we are, unhappy and incomplete people. Once unblocked, we may experience something way more threatening… happiness.

Excess of work is only one of many creative blocks. The need to be a great artist makes it hard to be an artist. The need to produce great work of art makes it hard to produce any art at all. We need time for that and we're too busy working.

Do not call it procrastination or laziness. Call it fear.

Creativity requires activity. And most of us hate doing something when we can obsess about something else instead. We all have creative blocks. Work has been mine since the beginning of the year. It is good to take some time off now, step back and take stock of the situation in order to return to the doing column.

It’s funny how the mind works. After 4 months of not sharing what I think or do, doubts started popping in my head, such as, what if what I'm writing is not good enough to even share it? Writing this few lines made me very happy this morning. Because, in my case, writing about what I'm doing or thinking, helps me keeping some of my fears away.

Working is good, don't get me wrong. Actually, it is essential in order to create something. It is the abuse of it that makes it a creative issue. Having the time, and taking the time to try new things, learn new skills, and try new experience is mandatory to stay creative.


"Question: Do you know how old I'll be by the time I learn to play piano?
Answer: The same age you will be if you don't."

-Julia Cameron


Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I'm intrigued about what you mean by work? Is your art not work? Do you make a difference between your work as an artist and any other job? I always thought that Living the artist's life was kinda living the dream... As in, work never really feels like work.Even though it is not easy! But I just assumed that it would feel more like a passion than like "work" per say...

Mauricio De la Rocha G said...

Thanks, and you are right. When I said workaholism Im talking about the excess of work on a normal job.

We are all creative and unique people, we all have great ideas, however most of us we do nothing about it.

Like the writer who writes for a news paper. He is not making art. He could, if he start writing that amazing novel its been on his head for ages. The computer guy that makes VFX for infomercials is not making art, but he could if he finally get the time to make his first animated short film. Im a photographer but I'm not doing art all the time. Most of my work is for clients that want to play safe and wont try something new. But of course Im capable to express my creativity and make art. We all are capable to do that.

That's what I was trying to say. We all have something to give, but to put ourself on the lines is a very scary thought most of the times. And been busy is one of the most common excuses this days. Is that make any sense?


Anonymous said...

Yes it does make sense. I agree with you. It is difficult to express our creativity, and it is true that one of the issue is to actually find the time to do it.
Thank you for your answer!