Monday, October 13, 2008

The Painful Truth About Focus and Concentration

The Paradox
By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man's, I mean. - Mark Twain

I liken it to heartbreak and Encephalitis. That's what creation feels like for me. Some people can live in their creativity for long spans of time, but I find that I can only have that kind of true focus for an hour to an hour and a half before I just want to break down and cry. The heartache reminds me so much of how I felt in high school that I cannot take it for too long. I'm pretty sure that this feeling is what has encouraged my procrastination for so long. This year I've managed to work through some of that procrastination. I've achieved many projects. I am very proud of myself. Yet, I am at a period where I am not working on client-work. I am working on my own work, which requires my own self-motivation, inspiration, artistic and technical direction. I feel a lot of responsibility. I've gotten a good start. After a successful week submitting several pieces, I have started work on another short story. It's about slowing down time and when I started I had no idea where I was going with this story. The character had some motivation, yet nothing super pressing. I was worried that the pace of the story would be terrible or the story would entirely fade away. Yet, after pushing through the initial uncertainty, a few options have opened up. I'm excited because I can take this story in two or three directions. I haven't picked that direction yet, and probably will see what comes out of my pen before really deciding. I'm excited because right now I need to continue creation so that I have more to submit. I want it to be quality work though, which means not rushing. The paradox then is that I will probably spend a lot of time in that painful place. I told my friend Jen that I used to think I was a lazy artist, but I figured out that I didn't like the frustration that came with creation. More specifically I don't like the emotional wear and tear. If I can learn to accept that feeling or work through it, I wonder what I can accomplish.


I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity. - Albert Einstein

I think I'm heading there again. After years in the spotlight. After months working amongst people, I think I am ready to retreat back to my home studio. Of course I will still spend plenty of days in the dance studio (among people), but the weekend load for the rest of October, November, and most of December is minimal. I also plan to take a few days off in November to extend out some three-day weekends to four days. These extra days will be an artistic retreat spent in my home studio. I am ready for a retreat. I need to create in quiet and peace. I need some place where I can just sit and hurt, or laugh, or whatever it is I do when I'm alone and creating. I don't think it is the same for every project, but it is pretty damn close. I want to retreat because I have a hard time hurting in front of people, which means my ability to create around othera is fairly nil. That said. I am off. I've reached the next scene in my short story. I will break for a bit to work on some research and maybe on my novel Rebbeca 2.1. It feels like it will be a good week. Write more later... Peace... RK


Shady Gardener said...

Thank you for visiting me today. Our forecast was to be 36 degrees tonight, but to warm up for the rest of the week... guess I'd better get my last-minute things done outdoors.
And, I'm wondering what is growing outdoors in Alaska these days?

Rachael Kvapil said...

Only the spruce trees. We have snow on the ground and had to pull in our stuff last month. We have about 100 good growing days in an average year. This year was really wet so things didn't do so well. On really good years I've grown pumpkins and other veggies. Lots of people grow lillies and other flowers. I'm not sure if they green house them or now.