house of cards

Work and Art, Life and Creativity (#343)

Disclaimer:  The below I wrote this week.  It was at night.  A particular night where I felt extremely tired, but had to write anyway.  I’m currently adjusting to my new schedule and trying to finish out my 365 consecutive posts quest.  At the same time, I’m reading Robert Rodriguez’s “Rebel Without A Crew” – Or How a 23 Year Old Flimmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player.  The book, my new schedule, my new dayjob, and my absolute need to keep creating things on my own – are the subjects that are taking up my mental head space right now.  Through that lens, you get the below mishmash of thought.  Again, no need to feel bad for me.  Everything is good in Momma’s ‘hood.  But, nonetheless, I think the below thought process might be interesting for my fellow writers and artists out there.  As always, I’d love to know what you think.


I’m lying here as a gentle wine haze washes over me.  I’m grateful for that wine haze because I need a rest.  Different things are flashing through my head – I’m thinking about my puppy who keeps howling with uncertainty.  “Is she going to bed?  I can hear the keys.  The typing.  That’s not usual at night,” the puppy must think.  And then there’s my second, older, dog who perks up when the puppy howls to ask a question.


It’s a delicate state of dominoes – the quiet of right now.




I just started a sentence with “And” earlier and I’m reminded of the boss who often reminds me that he’s an English major.  He tells me what drives him crazy about the English language and the misuse of it.  He’s a workhorse.  I admire that because I’m a workhorse too.  Yet, I wonder if it matters when you’re a workhorse on a lower tier and running in a side pasture while others (the same age as you) have already worked their way towards the Triple Crown and are now running that course.  It makes me think there’s some sort of non-stop competition happening in life, until you die.  Your only real choice is – do you take a number and race at all or stay on the sidelines and enjoy a beer while the schmucks tire themselves out?


I shift in and out of thought and I wonder what people truly want.  Do they want helpers (read: slaves) or do they care about the quality of life that other people have?  Maybe that’s not their concern and maybe it shouldn’t be.  Maybe you should only care about what’s close enough to hug.  No, that’s silly.  I don’t believe that.  At least it wouldn’t work for me.  I care about a great deal more than that.  Right?  Right?!  Hmm, maybe I only care about hugs.  Maybe I shouldn’t try to convince myself otherwise.


I shift again and I’m thinking about Sheryl Sandberg, the CEO of Facebook.  I’m thinking about her new literary offering, “Lean In” where Sheryl talks about women in the workforce and Colin Powell.  Colin Powell, who I have always liked despite his conservative leanings, apparently favors quality over quantity when it comes to work.  Here’s what he means.  Note: I’m paraphrasing Mr. Powell, as I remember hearing it:


“There are times that I know something MUST be done.  And it must be done now.  So, I expect my employees to work around the clock.  But, when that time is over, I want them to put in regular hours.  9 to 5 hours…because I want them to go home and play with the kids.  Read a novel.  Have a life.  If they do this, they will come back to me with a different quality of thought.”


colin powell


Actually, I’m going to take credit for the phrase, “quality of thought” because I’m pretty sure Powell didn’t say that.  I was left with that sentiment though and -really- that’s what I’m craving right now, at this moment – quality of thought.  I’m not sure how I’ll get that within my new life unbalance.  Yet, I know it’s important.  To create, it’s important to rest.  To make new, it’s important to re-new.


Have you ever written and re-written only to think, “That was shit.  I’ll need to write some more.  If I write some more, I’ll have it.  I’ll get through the shit.”  I had a moment like that the other night and Wifesy said to me, “You’re reminding me of when I studied for Vet school.  There was a point that I would hit where everything thereafter would be shit.  I knew at that point, I had to rest.  I had to put it away and in the morning I’d be better.  I had hit my maximum capacity.”


I put the writing down and I revisited the project in the morning.  She was right.  Very right.


Still, I wonder how anyone manages a day job, a life with a partner, a creative pursuit, and -god forbid- children.  I wonder how anyone does all of that WELL, even a little bit.


No need to pity me, my friends.  I am more than alright.  I simply love purging my unfiltered thoughts here for you all to turn over.  I’ll figure it all out in the end.


What about you?  Find it hard to balance the day job AND the creativity?



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house of cards, colin-powell, dominoes