On reading around the subject

a blank easelOn the shelves above my computer I have roughly 15 books about the art of writing, 3 books on painting and drawing,  and 24 books I could put in the category of  computer creativity/computer art/games design.

Now a lot of the last group are related to my work, but since my work was chosen according to my interests in the first place, I guess it shows pretty well where my interests lie!

The big question for me at the moment is how much time do I actually spend reading those books and benefiting from them?

I rather suspect that in some cases they’ve never been read.  That’s a terrible admission – that I’ve sought these books out, ordered/bought them, put them lovingly on my shelf and admired them from afar.

But how much time have I spent actually doing anything related to those books?  I’ve dabbled, probably.  Can’t really describe it as more than that.  And at the end of the day if I want to achieve anything at all in any of these areas, I need to set aside time to actually carry out activities related to them.  So time to draw, time to write, time to create something on the computer.

Why don’t I? I guess because if I’m not doing anything, I can always say I could be good if I tried.  But if I do try and I’m no good, then I’ll know the worst.  There’s this driving feel that I have to produce something that’s good – that if it’s a painting, sitting working on a rotten painting in public is pointless, that if I’m writing and it has no audience, then it’s pointless.  That if I’m doing something on the computer but it’s not actually useful for work or something similar, then it’s a waste of time.  I need to get past that and realise that the value of creativity is felt within, not without.  If I’ve enjoyed spending time doing something, if it’s put me into the frame of mind where I feel refreshed and ready to work, then it’s been productive.  This despite the fact that I continually push creativity aside because of work stuff I feel has to be done, although I drag my heels over it because it’s not enjoyable.

Can you tell I’m listening to Jane McGonigal’s lecture on productivity through gaming while writing this?

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1 Comment

  1. I’ve got about 30 books on writing lol

    I work through one book at a time, so I have 1 writing book and 1 fiction book on the go, if you see what I mean. I think there is a lot to be learnt from writing books, and as I’m still trying to learn, I find them invaluable 🙂



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