Category Archives: creativity

Why I Procrastinate…

This week I am a casebook study in extreme procrastination. Case in point—there is an art reception at my gallery this coming Saturday. We hang the art on Friday, just five days away. I have nothing new. I am working on a painting that I hope will be done in time, yet I have come up with a long list of reasons not to paint. Today, I have soaked in the tub, taken a lovely walk (such a nice day), watched reruns of Fixer Upper on TV (I’ve seen them all before), cleaned my kitchen, viewed my email and even played a few games of solitaire on my phone. What I have not done is paint.

To be honest, I’m in more of a writing mood this week. I just finished a fan fiction story for an upcoming Redwood Writers contest. I’ve done some research on a story about Sonoma County for the next Club anthology, and attended a workshop yesterday morning designed to facilitate writing said story. I’ve written a few pages about an ugly little man who turns women into flowers (I’m working out a few logistics on that one), and started a memoir about the man who broke his thumb over my head. Yet, I admit, I’ve procrastinated a bit on those stories as well.

zebraartwIn addition to all the above, I desperately want to publish my children’s book, Amazing Animals! Fun Facts from A to Z. Everyone who sees it claims to love it, but no one (yet) has been willing to publish it. So, I’m considering self-publishing. All I need to do is finish the art—four paintings done, only twenty-two more to go. Procrastination!

A peek at Amazing Animals!                                                                 Z is for Zebra…do you know why they have stripes? It’s not just for camoflage.

Getting back to the painting I should be working on today— I love the subject matter, but find working on the background a bit tedious. It’s a portrait, and painting people is my thing. That’s what I really enjoy…people and animals. Still, I have resisted doing the work all week. Oh, I’ll probably finish in time, although it will likely involve some serious sleep deprivation, the price I will pay for my procrastination. And, actually, writing this blog could also be labeled procrastination. I have promised myself I would write one blog a week, but finishing the painting should take precedence. After all, I have a deadline.

I’d love to show you where I am on the painting thus far. However, it’s a surprise for someone. Showing it here would likely ruin the surprise. I will publish it if/when it’s done.

All this brings me back to the title of this piece, Why I Procrastinate. Let me admit that I really have no idea what causes me to procrastinate. My mind is spinning with so many great ideas. Or maybe they aren’t so great. Is that what stops me? Fear of failure? Or, maybe it’s fear of success that puts up roadblocks. What would my life be like if I succeeded?

You might ask yourself, “Why would anyone be afraid of success?” Mark McGuinnes addresses this interesting question in his blog, Are You (Subconsciously) Afraid of Success? Check it out.

Perhaps Marianne Williamson penned the most famous quote about fear of success…“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Fear of failure, fear of success—the end result often looks exactly the same. With that in mind, I’m drawing this blog to a close and returning to my painting. I’ll let you know what happens. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. Why do you procrastinate?

1-17-mix-postcard-front

You’re Invited! Reception hours are 5 to 7:30. Wine, food, art and brief presentations by the participating artists. I’ll be there. Join me at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance Gallery.

 

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How Growing Older Influences My Writing…

woman-wmirroe

Having recently written a blog on aging and creativity, I’ve been giving a lot of thought  to how growing older influences my writing. It has gotten better, and certainly deeper. At this point in my life, I think about growing old, and dying, and the aging process—topics I didn’t think much bout when I was twenty, or even thirty. And, of course, the things I’m contemplating show up in what I write. How could they not? Sometimes what I have to say is serious, sometimes funny, and sometimes both. To be honest,  I don’t like growing old, and I hate the fact that all the really cute guys are too young for me. However, despite the drawbacks to getting older, there are some gifts as well. Anyway, I’m not ready for the alternative—I’m having too much fun.

My poem, The Seeker Within,  takes a somewhat humorous approach to the inevitable, but the underlying thoughts are anything but…

The seeker within

longs to soldier on

and see the face of God.

Reverse is not an option,

but if it were,

I might tarry a bit…

postpone my appointment

with the infinite

to deck myself in finery once again,

drink champagne from crystal flutes,

share slick and salty tastes

with handsome men who call me, “Sugar.”

I would reclaim taut skin, firm arms and thighs.

Truck drivers could leer and whistle.

This time I would simply laugh,

glad to be back again, young and juicy.

I would not sell my soul to make it so,

but I would think on it.

—Pamela Heck

Reprinted from Redwood Writers 2016 Poetry Anthology, Stolen Light. All rights reserved.

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Aging, Creativity and Me

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?  — Satchel Paige (1906-1998)elderswI am no longer young. I deal with this fact very well on some levels—less so on others. On the positive side, I am more creative now than at any other time in my life.

I always had an interest in writing, but never had time to pursue it outside of my professional life. (I was an advertising copywriter for many years.) I wrote in no other capacity except for an occasional poem. Today I belong to a writer’s club and a critique group. I have won writing awards and honorable mentions in various contests, recently been published in three anthologies and a literary review, and have an agent “shopping” one of my children’s books. In addition, I am a resident artist at a local gallery where I am expected to produce new art on a regular basis—which I do. All this at a time when researchers are telling me my neurons are shutting down. However, Timothy A. Salthouse in his recent book, Major Issues in Cognitive Aging, suggests that “some of the assertions about cognitive aging may be influenced as much by the authors’ preconceptions and attitudes as by scientific evaluation and empirical research.”

I have long suspected that creative people tend to live longer, more productive lives. New research is proving that to be true. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201003/creativity-and-successful-brain-aging-going-the-flow Continue reading