Friday, 15 June 2012

Tea breaks galore

This week’s theme is displacement activities. I have a lot of these, and they aren’t just for writing. Anything which seems to have some importance gets displaced unless it’s relating to the kids. If the grouting needs to be cleaned I find a fascinating article online or a new book to read. If I have an assignment due then suddenly cleaning the grouting is very attractive. It’s a bizarre thing. Why do I do it? I have no idea. Once the important task is finally done then everything is fine, but there is a certain anxiety in starting a task which holds responsibilities.

So what is it that I am avoiding exactly? Once I get started I enjoy the task and the anxiety is forgotten. Yet I think maybe the anxiety can be useful. The more important the activity then the more anxiety I experience and the longer I use whatever displacement activity of the day may be. I start cleaning out the chicken house, or digging the garden. But are these displacement activities a part of the creative process? I think they may be, for me. I think the human brain does a lot of its work subconsciously and allows it to surface when it’s ready.  I think a bit of hoovering allows the ideas to brew. I’ve added the teabag to the brain ‘pot’ and it’s steeping for a while. When it’s had a chance to become as saturated as possible then it’s time to pour out the ideas.

I displace the important things, to let them steep awhile.


Ashley R Lister said...

I do believe there is a lot of thinking time involved in the processes we do that aren't writing. My post for tomorrow says something very similar.

I do like the analogy of brewing a cuppa.


MoonJumpingCow said...

I think it's important to establish that distance and perspective on a project so that it can be tackled objectively. They take the Micky out of me at work for making so many brews, especially when I'm looking fed up with something I'm working on. Really though, that moment away is where the magic happens. It may be a displacement activity but that doesn't mean I'm not still working.


Jo Michaels said...

I do believe that making tea, coffee, or doing laundry are all good ways to allow our brains a re-set moment. Thought provoking and well understood. WRITE ON!

Anonymous said...

Spot on Lindsay. This post makes so much sense...The more important the task the longer we leave it stewing so that it's suitably brewed. I feel better about the procrastinating now. Thank you!

Vicky xx