Sometimes everything just falls into place, you know?
On an early Saturday morning, with the sun shining and a record on the turntable, I’m a new man. All the stress of the week is gone and I can finally get to things that matter to me. Now, sometimes this might manifest as a morning session in front of the TV playing a game, but eventually the day turns to cleaning, organizing, preparing and cooking, which is a fine trade off to me.
I’m not great at keeping focus, but I’ve learned (and am learning) ways to work with what I can. Usually that means I just accept that in the middle of this paragraph I’ll probably take a five minute break to scroll through Twitter for the fourth time this morning, but as long as I eventually come back to the post and finish it, that’s fine.
I grew up under the expectation that once an activity or job is started, it must be finished, and if it isn’t finished in a timely manner, it was failure. But as I’ve grown to know myself I’ve learned that I can’t work that way. I’ve had a video project sitting on my desktop for about a week and a half now, but I know that that’s how it has to be done, because I need to be excited about it for the emotion to come across right. If I just sat down and worked, cranking out o project after project, post after post, I’d never produce things I cared about.
It’s important to me that I care about the things I make, so I often don’t make things for weeks on end. I might go months between photo shoots or weeks between trips, because if I’m not excited to do something, the product just sucks. I’m not happy with the result, and as such, I don’t put it up anywhere or tell anyone about it.
This blog is the closest thing I have to a regular scheduled creation time, but even in that, I schedule out my posts about a week in advance. That way, if I go a whole week or two without any inspiration to write, I still have content out here being posted. It reminds me when a post goes up, and I think “huh. Should probably think about writing again” and I can refocus to pound out some posts in an afternoon for a bit.
That’s what focus really means to me. Not sitting down and working non stop for hours on end, or getting into some “deep work” methodology. That stuff doesn’t work for me. I have to have freedom to move, to walk, to step away and come back. I can’t sit down and just work forever, that stifles creativity and only produces mediocre garbage in my experience. I can’t say this works for everyone, and probably wouldn’t recommend it to many, but it works for me.