So I've been working on a book proposal, but going nowhere. I start the thing, then I stop. Instead of loafing around, I move into a more deceptive realm: I pretend to do something.Read the whole thing (but be forewarned that the site has a rather aggressively libertarian bent). Gutfeld muses upon "that guy you know who has a crapload going on ... [b]ut nothing he does matters." That, to me, nails one of the primary pitfalls of creativity: Difficulty in focusing seems the name of the game. For examply, the manuscripts in the Work In Progress folder on my computer seem to be multiplying like rabbits -- and never quite maturing beyond a second draft. There's always the siren call of some other imaginative pursuit, another plot to outline, another podcast to listen to, another blog to peruse. Such activities fire my mind with ideas, but how much good do they really do if I allow them to drag me away from a project after a measly fifteen minutes of work? It's an endless juggling act, and it makes wonder. How can one train the creative mind to focus when its basic bent is to slothfully slide from one idea to another?
In the old days, this was called "sloth." We used to link sloth with lying around in one's own filth. But that's wrong. I read a bunch on sloth -- which, I know, may defeat the purpose of sloth -- but, according to Daniel Rosenberg, in a magazine called Cabinet, sloth was originally defined as "unregulated curiosity." That sloppy need ends up as pointless work -- which is worse than doing nothing, because you think you're doing something.
(Picture: CC 2004 by Praziquantel)