Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Artists Who Are Writers - Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee

I've been spending rather a lot of time on my art sites, tidying them up, improving them where I can. I'm a bit ashamed to admit to this, but I originally promised you that I would devote myself more or less exclusively to the writing here. Now I find that light-hearted painting imp is trying to oust the more serious writing muse. For the first time in months, I'm thinking about doing a little something in acrylics on a fresh, new canvas...

This made me wonder about all of you out there (and there are many) who suffer from the same sort of split-creativity personality. I'm always impressed when I find others with the same dual-drives, and we seem drawn together, I've noticed. How do you deal with it? From my art blog, I see how you're all either producing art and talking about the writing, or vice-versa, and I wonder how much of a problem it becomes for you at times, this little battle of the Creative Urges.

For me, once I get over the guilt thing, I think I might get down to a bit of painting soon. It's been over six months since I last finished one, and my various online portfolios seem almost archival. But first I have to convince myself that I can do two things at the same time, more or less. My writing takes up about four hours a day - when I'm in-flow, a little longer - but this still leaves plenty of time for painting. I simply have to learn, once and for all, how to switch off one for the other, on a regular basis.

This is not like switching off the 9-5 Business Work Mode button - that's so indelibly ensconced in the other side of the brain, I don't even consider it, and it's a pleasure to stay away from it. But these two are like identical twins, fighting for dominance, trying to share the same brain circuits, I guess. I wonder if anyone has ever put those little electrodes on someone to see if this is valid.

Anyway, I refuse to use my painting again as an avoidance technique for the writing, as I've done in the past. I've been given two life passions (in fact, there are more - but I won't go into that here) and I should appreciate them. Of course, the painting imp is very light-hearted, bright and easy-going, while the writing muse is more conservative, more sensible, and takes life more seriously. I suppose it makes sense that I need them both in my life.

Back in November, when I started this writing blog, I vowed I wouldn't let the art blog spill over into it, and I've tried to do that. But it's hard, because I'm not cleanly divided between the two. So today I present myself as the split-personality I am, and I am unapologetic.

Let me me know how you deal with this. How difficult is it for you?



Casey said...

I have a really hard time switching gears when it comes to what I'm into at any given time. I don't know why.

Writing usually takes precedence, but if I get into some other kick, whether it's taking photos, painting, researching ancestry, or playing around with photoshop, etc. I get completely sucked in. I can't seem to divide my attentions.

Drives me crazy sometimes because I know I could do so much more if I could prioritize and organize my days better.

Fran said...

Perhaps that's why I sometimes get a headache. Too much vying for center-stage...