Wednesday, December 2, 2009

my progress so far

or Acts of Creative Desperation
or Desperate Acts of Creativity
or Creative Acts of Desperation

Today I made curtains.
I've been thinking about music and listening to music and last week I even wrote some music.  But this week things are just not happening.  A 'training day' at our creche has conspired against me and my day of time and space disappeared.  I was having a look through a blog called Studio Mothers and came across a post called '5 ways to be a writer when you're not writing' which certainly struck a chord.  I'm not overly interested in cooking but some of the analogies were quite apt - there is a lot of simmering and preparing the pot.  Rather than feeling frustrated at the slowness of my progress, I know there are things simmering away and when I lift the lid on them some time soon, I hope I am pleasantly surprised.  I also agree with the importance of engaging in "cultural activity" to get ideas moving.  I often have 'light-bulb' moments while listening to someone else's music or looking at a painting.  Of course I would love to be gadding off to art galleries and performances and all manner of things although it's not so easy at the moment.  But I have made a point of planning ahead to put a few interesting things on the calendar and then to actually go and see / hear them.  So things are moving along, slowly, my plan is falling into place, gradually.  But today I made curtains and totally enjoyed it.  I love making things and making curtains fed the urge to create something, even if it wasn't music.  And you can make curtains in the midst of domestic chaos while talking to two small children and interruptions to bring in washing / make tea / bathe children don't actually make any difference to the final product.  I don't know if curtain making can be classed as 'engaging in cultural activity' but sometimes creating something is better than creating nothing and desperate times call for desperate measures.


  1. I do believe making something (anything), whether it's curtains or a meal or a scarf or a ship of cardboard boxes, nourishes the spirit. Or even making order from chaos (which might involve wiping down the benches or cleaning the fridge...)

    (I do not include in this category the making of MESS by young children, which saps the spirit and is good for no one.)

  2. Christine--thank you so much for mentioning our Studio Mothers blog post. I hope you'll join in the conversation at our blog--we'd love to hear more about your experience. (And composers & musicians are considerably underrepresented in our community!)


  3. Hmm haven't tried making curtains though i tend to seek solace in the tidying of the studio. Re-rolling cables and stacking equipment often soothes the soul though i have to admit it doesn't necessarilly lead to outcomes. A large, immoveable deadline with the added tension of public accountability tends to be the only thing that gets traction for me.


  4. Thank you for this post! It was uplifting and gave me food for thought re "planning ahead" and sticking to doing the activities - motherhood always seems to creep in so it was good to read this as a reminder to make a little time to do the things we love.

    It also described a little bit of your creative process and managing this around 2 young children. Very helpful.

    And curtain making, or what ever creative endeavour we choose to do, is "engaging in cultural activity" in my books. Your brain/self would of been occupied by the making part of the creative endeavour, it may have been an endeavour that you don't usually do and you were happy at the outcome. From there anything creative can grow!

    Thanks again, it was a fabulous post.

  5. thanks Mags. And I can report that I have advanced from curtain making to actually writing music - hoorah.