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Is being busy doing “not art” the same as being stuck?

January 3, 2012

Gee, I hate to use Christmas as an excuse for the second week in a row for not working in my studio, but there it is: this holiday thing is a major obstacle. And I think I’ll add that to my list of distractions: being busy. Sometimes there is just too much to do, and it means reducing artmaking to a few little doodles in my sketchbook…or say, reading more on the Internet about “stuckness.”

From my sketchbook:

Artist sketch about being distracted as an artist

The Internet produced Steven Pressfield. He wrote this short little book called DO THE WORK. I don’t even like the title because it reminds me of “just do it.” Hearing that doesn’t really solve my problem. Lots of different sources offer the directive to just work, work, work. Writers should write every day; artists should draw (or paint, etc.) every day. I buy into that. I believe it. I just can’t do it, especially during the holidays (I’m not quite sure that’s a bad thing). I have a sneaking suspicion that DO THE WORK is a lot like JUST STOP. You know, that response we often hear on how to quit destructive behaviors. If it were that easy, would we need all of these books? I don’t believe it is a lack of intelligence, commitment, or interest…but what the heck is it?

I’m keen to get back to work, so I guess a little of Pressfield’s narrative seeped in. I’ll see when the sun comes up just how much.

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