Recently I superglued two orange pom poms onto a pair of shoes.
A couple of months later I hand sewed a grey pom pom onto a woolly hat. I used to do this sort of thing all the time. Rework a dress into a skirt, make a bag, write a comedy play, film a short sketch. For years these things were natural to me and they were things I wanted to do. I needed to do in fact. The creative inside of me couldn’t go a day without making something ~ sewing, writing, glueing, preparing, sorting, filming, producing.
Then I moved house and the sewing machine had to be stored away in the shed. There wasn’t enough room for it to be out all the time. The scraps of material that lay around in piles, waiting to be reworked into anything that had inspired me that week, were tidied away in a box in my room. My big, trusty laptop that was far too heavy to be taken anywhere had to be closed and put away every night so the big table that I used as a work desk could be used for urban family dinners. Instead of lying around waiting to be written in my notebooks gathered dust on bookshelves.
Nothing new came out of my head and nothing excited me anymore. A few ideas swum around but they never actually appeared. They were never physically created giving me that feeling of having produced something worthy of showing people.
I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. I know what I’m like. An addict. An addict who is aware of their addiction and unwilling to put any effort into any sort of change.
It started when I got an iPhone. I signed up to Instagram and Twitter and spent hours looking at my tiny screen. Dipping into other people’s lives and wondering why mine wasn’t as exciting or fulfilling as there’s. My new house had Sky plus. Instead of having to be in to watch something at a specific time I could record an entire series. I could pause and watch when I wanted. There were more channels, more shit to flick through and mindlessly switch off in front of. I bought a small, light 13” Macbook air that weighed nothing in my bag. I could take it wherever and lose hours on Youtube, Facebook, blogs whenever. My attention span was whittled down to three and a half minutes, I wrote about my lack of ‘making’ back then and I came to a creative stand still. Nothing was produced. Nothing was made. Nothing was created. My world stood still.
I waited to see how I would come out the other side and realised that some things would have to change.
I realised that while I love writing, for me, typing isn’t writing. Writing with a pen and paper is writing and typing is the end result. I like pen on paper. I LOVE pen on paper. The best part of writing is working out which beautiful pen goes on what type of paper. I like to see my mistakes, my side notes, where my thoughts were.
I realised that looking at other people’s staged lives through a preselected filter will not make your life any better it will only make you feel worse about yours. And while you may want that life of free holidays, parties, adventures ~ You won’t get it unless you produce something worthy. You won’t go anywhere other than a daydream if you don’t get off your ass and produce something.
I realised that books heal. Museum’s inspire. New people intrigue and change is for the best.
I put down the remote, deleted the apps, picked up a pen and superglued another pom pom.
I am here. I am creating.
Bring it on…..
N.B Whilst typing this piece Ms. Donovan only took a 10 minute break to check Ebay once, Facebook once and to read about Angelina Jolie going to the Nickoldeon kids awards with two of her children. Progress is slow but it’s heading in the right direction.