Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Time Sucker

Otherwise known as the internet. Facebook, Studio Calico, Etsy, Amazon, Pinterest, The Weather Channel. They have all been stealing away the extra minutes of my day. That is where the hours have gone that I could have been writing, painting, gardening, exercising, and in so many ways, just doing something productive. Heck, I could have mastered bread baking or quantum physics by now! The World Wide Web is a powerful tool when used right, but I can’t tell you how many times I have sat down to “just check one thing” and then two hours of my life is swept under the rug just like that. Poof! And I wish for more hours in the day, but really I just need to USE the time that has been given to me in the first place. Oh, sure I could blame my lack of creative accomplishment on raising three rowdy boys (and really I should), but the truth is that if I only took that extra hour in the day by the reigns I could be doing those few little things I dream of doing…
And honestly, I have no shortage of ideas. In fact it’s shameful that I have so many (good) ideas and they just go to waste like the bananas on my counter. It’s not too late to make bread, right? So I will tell you now, I have at least a half dozen blog entries begun.  I have pages of notes for paintings, illustrations and assemblage art projects. I have the characters in stories all worked out. I know exactly how I could pull together family members in an amazing creative venture and come out on top. I have another couple of great new blogs I think about starting…… but I can’t maintain the one I have so what’s the point really…..
The point is that an acquaintance, someone I have only met a couple times really, told me she reads my blog and was wondering when I would be posting again. It was December the last time, after all. And she noticed I was painting and wondered how it was going. (Did I brag about jumping into art and writing about it, because it’s a shame really!) There you have it, people are reading what I write and asking me to say more. And I have A LOT more to say, I am never without a story or an opinion to share.
SO, is it really the internet surfing holding me back? Or is it a convenient excuse to waste away my valuable time and not get going on what I am probably too intimidated to be doing? It’s easy to doubt myself. Easy to doubt my commitment. Easy to doubt the value of what I do in a population of 7 billion people. Easy to be intimidated by those who have been professionally trained and know what they are talking about. Easy to feel overwhelmed by the daily tasks at hand so much so that adding one more thing to the fire might make it all melt into a heap. Easy to wonder at what point will I accept that the process of creating and sharing is success in itself?
I did a quick (one hour) pastel of a photo from a trip I took to Provence years ago. I did it on a whim because I knew I wasn't doing what I promised myself to do, and I felt better for it, and then worse because I know I should keep doing it until I really build the skills I want to create the paintings that I dream about doing.

I think it’s time to close out my internet browser and start my own creative revolution. What do you think, are you in with me?  (posting a reply would be very helpful right about now!)


  1. I feel the exact. same. way!

  2. First..never lose that desire to create because I see it as the underground river keeping everything else alive. It feeds your spirit. Next, the Internet CAN be a time-sucker, but maybe you could do something using an old time-management tool...a timer. Set it for 20 minutes and when it rings, "Step Away From The Computer." Then there is the issue of spending your day doing what you're expected to do and doing what you really yearn to do...You are earnestly torn and besides, you've already earned your Master's Degree in W & M, so there's not much of a learning curve; you've got it. Now the important part: your God given talent. It's like you're trying to swim across the English Channel: you set out swimming with your goal in sight, but before very long, you realize it's farther away than you first imagined. You keep stroking and kicking, but for all your effort the current is working against you. The people on the boat (making sure you don't die of hypothermia) can see you are actually making progress, but you're getting tired and wondering if you'll every make it to the other shore. If you just keep kicking and moving forward, if just by a little, you will find the shore coming into view & your portfolio growing. [ I think I may be giving myself the same pep-talk] If you could do that pastel drawing in an hour (one that was interrupted a million times), then you can make another one, and another one, and....you'll see that you really can fit in an hour without neglecting your domestic duties: your boys will not go hungry. An hour to a busy mom is a precious commodity, but one that has the potential of filling your spirit with a deep sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

  3. Mom just happens to be right (this time). I get myself into the same predicament (thanks for sharing Young House Love, BTW). In the early days of your M & W studies didn't you make yourself a schedule? I'm in the same place as you, my To Do list gets longer and my computer is still on....

  4. Computers are a blessing and a curse. They hold a wealth of information, tools for communication, and a window to the diversity of our planet.
    At times a mini escape into cyberspace can be exactly what is needed to recharge and regroup. Or it can become a blatant procrastination.
    Speaking for myself, this struggle is more of a common thread among modern humans than we care to admit. Keeping alive the creative flow, building with our hands, sharing what inspires us, touching mother nature, and expressing our love daily, can be challenges to us, rather than the daily norm.
    Finding the balance then, seems to be in how we can use technology to best assist us in achieving our most human goals. That, and perhaps a walk in the woods (with a sketch pad).

  5. Yes, please keep blogging! I love reading what you have to write about and would definitely like to see more frequent posts :)

  6. Kell, your awesome! haha i feel the same. I agree with you too Candice! I seem to take a giant "leap of faith" in doing something, then if it doesn't turn out how i hoped, i get discouraged and it's that much harder to try again. But it feels great to know their is a few people that do care and anxiously await to see or read what your creativity has to offer! I never said anything but when i first got on FB you would post your blog with some of your scrap book photos or just things your fam was up to in Belgium and it was a real treat to see and read! I even tried making something for dinner that you posted (can't remember what it was now) haha. That's funny you have some characters for story's, i too have tried writing but then give up. But if you start again it gives us courage to try aswell! so no more excuses! haha

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