the minimal landscape (of me)

I love what Austin Kleon says in his book, Steal Like An Artist (or is it Show Your Work!?):
 I'm a boring guy with a nine-to-five job who lives in a quiet neighborhood with his wife and his dog.  That whole romantic image of the creative genius doing drugs and running around and sleeping with everyone is played out.  It's for the superhuman and the people who want to die young.  The thing is: It takes a lot of energy to be creative.  You don't have that energy if you waste it on other stuff.

When I read this, I laughed, out loud.  Others could easily perceive my life as boring.

And I am going to break it down even more; make it extra boring.  At the close of 2018 when setting my intentions for 2019 (see my New Year Creative Workshop worksheets), it became clear to me that I needed to keep it extra simple.  I came up with categories in my life that I have a tendency to get distracted with or think I should do more about.  These categories include: exercise, eating, home, wardrobe (even hair), social outings, time off and travel.

Within each of these categories, I know what works for me.  Sometimes, however, in a creative lull or when experiencing a longer period of self doubt, I pick up something extra here and think I should try to integrate it into my life.  Instead of staying faithful to what works and leaving space for the next inspiration (!!!), I may compulsively fill the space because of a temporary lapse in judgement.

For me, being a creative person, my internal landscape is so complex that finding ways to maintain a simpler, external landscape sets me up for the most success.


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