Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Interruptions in a Not-So-Perfect World

For the artist, the creative spring is a constant surge of crystalline water, bubbling from the mind and soul and flowing down and through an unbroken landscape, unhindered, unimpeded, free to find its own path, to chart its own way.

Yeah, right. In a perfect world, maybe, but as you know all too well, ours is a far cry from a perfect world.

So how does the author, the artist, the creator, keep that spring of creativity flowing in a world of distractions and interactions?

First, we have to acknowledge that it is not a perfect world, that it is the rare author who gets to hide himself away in a seaside bungalow for three months and focus on nothing else but his craft.
Interruptions exist. Now, by interruptions I don’t necessarily mean to convey that they’re always negative. We have a new baby in the house. Her arrival has interrupted the flow of my writing a new book, but it is in no way negative. It’s a part of life. Family interrupts a writing schedule, but they are never to be considered negative. Work breaks my creative flow every morning, dams that spring at 6:45 a.m. But that’s not . . . well, okay, sometimes that is negative.

The fact is, for the creative type the spring does constantly flow, it just doesn’t always have an outlet readily available. I’m constantly in creative mode, mulling over story lines, plot options, character traits, descriptions. But whether I can put those ideas to paper or not depends on what’s occurring in the world around me.

Perspective helps here. I understand that I am not solely a writer. In fact, I’m not primarily a writer. My roles as husband, daddy, friend, employee must come first. I must direct that spring of creativity around and through the landscape of my life. It must adapt and change as my life changes. And sometimes, as is the case now with our new arrival, I must dam it for a season, slow it to a trickle or let it pool altogether.

Sure, it would be nice to live in a perfect world and have a seaside bungalow as an escape, a place to allow my creativity to fully express itself. But the joy of writing, of creating real characters living in a real world, is not found in seclusion, it’s found in mucking through this life with everyone else, dealing with the interruptions and obstacles and pitfalls and mountaintops.

So how do you deal with interruptions? In writing? In life?


Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Good insight, Mike.

Sometimes I feel a sense of solitude, but more often than not, my life has a series of constant interruptions. The only thing I can do is prioritize and move on.

heidi said...

I agree with Lena...prioritize and move on. Some interruptions bring new life and others can halt the flow. Enjoy that new baby! These moments only happen once. Just finished your book Darlington Woods and couldn't put it down. Read it in 3 days. I liked the way you created your sentences. Really brought the imagery alive. My husband kept asking me what was happening that was keeping me so IN the book. :)

Mike Dellosso said...

Thanks, Heidi! What a complement. You made my day!

And Lena, yes, sometimes all we can do is prioritize and move on. Tackle what's before us.

Jillian Kent said...

Hi Mike,
Interruptions. Yuk. They happen all the time. Thing is I've become so used to them I don't know if I could work effectively if I had that seaside bungalow, but I'd like to find out.:)

My house is way full at the moment and I know your house is too. My crowd's a little older though.:) I like to be proactive and I've been thinking of a number of things lately to deal with noise and interruptions: build an office in the basement, buy noise cancelling headphones, stay at the day job and work from there when I'm finished for the day before going home, etc.

I find there's never just one way each day. There's different things that work on different days if that makes any sense.

Blessings on you and your family as you welcome your new baby.