What conditions do you need to be able to work? To be able to concentrate on your given practice?
Some creatives approach their work in an impulsive or deadline-driven hectic manner. Others, more disciplined, approach it more pragmatically. Personally, I fall somewhere between the two. Either way I like to have a delicious cup of something to hand – it varies throughout the day, from a steaming cup of coffee/mocha/hot chocolate in the morning, to a fragrant fruit/spicy/Earl Grey tea in the afternoon and a glass of wine in the evening if I’m working late or on deadline; beautiful/energetic/soothing music (depending on the job in hand – I can’t write to background music with lyrics) and plenty of natural light. Then I can get lost in my work and all else is just insubstantial mist. Heightened awareness, mindfulness, a meditative state, call it what you will, there is something to be said for being so absorbed in a creative activity that you are unaware of the passage of time, so focussed are you on the task at hand. Many an evening meal has been delayed due to this in our household.
Having said that, while faffing about on Facebook the other day I came across this excellent quote, apparently attributed to Hugh Lawrie: “It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” I don’t know about you, but I’m quite good at procrastinating (the rather specific conditions I feel I need in order to work are probably just another way of procrastinating, albeit aesthetically). I could procrastinate for England. Especially where some creative endeavour is concerned. So when I read this it rather struck a chord with me. ‘Now is as good a time as any’ will become my new mantra… just as soon as I’ve finished this cup of tea.
Gill Kaye, editor