Every now and then, even when you have lots of brilliant and exciting, creative projects on the go, your creative batteries go flat. At times like these, you need to step away from the easel, put down the guitar, close the notebook and decompress. At those moments, what you need more than the time and space to continue your battle with your projects, in a quest for completion of something (anything), is enough distance from them to revive, refresh, find new inspiration, read some new ideas, breathe fresh air, absorb some sun and plan the rest of the work, or maybe some exciting, new projects.
Everything can become a treadmill, if you let it. As much fun as creating is, sometimes it needs to not feel like an obligation, albeit a self-imposed one. Sometimes you just need to step away and let things percolate. Mulling things over is under-rated. Imagination thrives on being given recreation and rest. The best is yet to come.
Only the most egomaniacal would imagine that their absence will cause them to be missed, if even noted. The world will get along just fine, without one of its warriors in the never-ending battle of ideas. Most people will be glad of a rest from your ranting, exhortations, opinions and views. At least, that’s how I feel about going offline for a while.
I have my intellectual trickle charger all set. I’m going to spend a week or so just letting everything slide. I don’t care. I can’t care. It’s not good for me to care, at the moment. It will all still be there when I return to it and if it isn’t, it’s of little consequence. The point of my art is the enjoyment of doing it. I don’t do it commercially, but I try for a commercially viable result, all the same. Mostly, I reach that goal and I find that satisfying. There are half written songs, unfinished blog posts, unrecorded guitar and synthesiser parts, chapters of long-delayed books, incomplete paintings on the easel, unconquered source code, electronic circuits not quite working yet, guitars to construct, audio clips still to audition and so many grand, unexecuted plans, but I’m spent. I’m tired. It’s time to look after me, so that art continues to bring me joy and rediscovery.
It might be that I come back with an outline for a new book or two, or maybe some new way to get music from artists to fans. I might come back with a blueprint for Web 3.0, where people are in command, not corporations and governments. I might just paint some sunsets in watercolours or pastels. Maybe I’ll just read some books and watch some old DVDs of Columbo or the IT Crowd. Maybe I’ll do nothing except walk and talk with the people I love. Maybe we’ll see owls. I love owls. Owls are splendid. Or maybe we’ll eat fresh seafood, straight from the boat to the kitchen. Perhaps the only thing that will change is that I will come back rested. This adventure is going to replace my current adventure, for a little while, at least.
Hopefully, when I get back to it, I’ll bring new originality, surprises, delight, energy, enthusiasm, lucidity, dynamism and authenticity, like a souvenir from my self-imposed exile. You never know.