Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Julie doesn't like being creative under pressure

It's sad, but it's soooo true: for me, creativity and pressure don't make happy partners. They refuse to skip happily down the street together. They fight and claw at one another, each seeking precedence...but in my case, at least, the deadline always wins.

(To the right: searching for inspiration...)

In fact, I'd go so far as to say pressure --as in a deadline, or several deadlines-- crushes creativity as easily as a butterfly's wing under the heel of a heavy-soled boot.

Consider the word "deadline." Any wonder that it uses "dead"? As in "better not cross that line!!!" Doesn't it kill you to have to come up with something, anything, to turn in before the death knell tolls?

On the other hand, I'm a world-class procrastinator. Without something to shoot for (and rail against), I'm unlikely to get anything done at all.

Still, I'm realizing lately that being a full-time author means being called on the carpet, again and again, to be original and creative on command. Personalizing an inscription on a book? Write something memorable. Talking in front of a group of readers? Be insightful and funny. Answering emails? Better not sound like a form letter. Come up with something creative-on-demand for Facebook, and blogs, and the current book, and the other book, and public talks, and the Litquake liar's panel, and and and...

Makes a person feel downright...what's the opposite of creative? Derivative? Status quo? Expected? Uninspired? Unimaginative?

Boring and inadequate and downright dull.

Anyway, I imagine it's clear by now that I'm not feeling very creative. Maybe I'll go out and take a walk in the sunshine. And whine. Or take a nap. And whine.

Can whining be seen as a creative endeavor?


Sophie Littlefield said...

LOOOVE that crystal ball picture of you, honey. And on the other stuff? You make it look easy....

Adrienne Bell said...

Oh yes, whining is a creative endeavor. All you have to do is ask my boys, they come up with new ways to whine every day :-)

Unknown said...

Some of my finest rants have been, well, whining about something or other. I think the whine-bitch-complain trio can be an art form all its own.

Jon Stewart makes a fine living at it. Carolyn See does too. You are in FINE company!!!!

Juliet Blackwell said...

Thanks Mysti! I love that I'm in the company of Jon Stewart...he's soooo cute!
Hard for me to imagine you ranting, though, I have to say. I look forward to witnessing it one day!