Along with the fiction I've been enjoying lately, I've also been reading some non-fiction, particularly The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I'm always fascinated by how the human brain works and often wonder how I'm able to hit my studio day-in and day-out without getting bored or overly frustrated. This creative life isn't an easy one, knowing that there will be both internal and external criticism throughout the process and yet I can't help myself. Painting is like an addiction to me. Sometimes I want to give up and do something else...almost anything else. Especially when I see my talented friends teaching and demonstrating their craft regularly while I choose to hole up in my basement. And I've begun to wonder if my commitment to my practice is because it's become a force of habit.
Lately I've begun documenting the creative things I do daily, not only painting, but writing, viewing art, having creative conversations, etc.
I wanted to see what I actually do every day because it seems that hours fly by and it's as though I've been in a fog (a happy one, mind you). Is it that old adage about time flying when you're having fun? Am I frittering the time away or actually accomplishing something in my days? It's much easier to track when I'm preparing for exhibits but those in-between times, when I haven't made any commitments, I begin to wonder.
So far in my reading I've learned that it is not only the time you go to sleep and rise but what you do before and after that contributes to the probability of what you will do throughout a given day.
That's fascinating to me. I have realized that I need to spend the earliest hours in my studio...before anyone rises. If I start that way, my success rate for the quality and quantity of the work is definitely higher. I can take a break and blog or check out facebook for a short time but then I need to get back to it. This particular habit began twenty-five years ago when I worked full-time as a Practice Administrator, continued when I had my children, and continues to this day.
I'm curious to read the chapters about creating new habits and how movements happen. It's going to be interesting.