“Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.” Gustave Flaubert
I just read this quote and was quite taken by it simply for its right-on-ness. The writer side of me has endless ideas for books, articles, essays and even blog posts forever lost, aborted by a lack of time and/or remembrance. Fictional plots and non-fictional rants are constantly lost due to my lack of organization. Distraction kills small bits of life that attempt to grow during the few times I actually focus.
It’s frustrating to have a tool so wonderful as my laptop (I’m totally a Mac geek and look down condescendingly on any bulky PC user in my local coffee shop) and yet lose productivity due to the ease of access to email, etc. And I am finding that I need to be obsessively organized and focused, setting silly rules for myself so that I don’t waste the time/day away.
Does anyone else deal with this? Do you find that quote to be true? As a site full of both artists and patrons, I would think this would be a timely topic.
And if you do find it to be true, what do you do to combat it? Artists are generally horrible at administration, so how do you conquer your poor habits to generate the art that good discipline can breed?
Matt Conner is a freelance writer and music journalist. As the founding pastor of The Mercy House, he led a church community for more than six years in intense community development across racial and socio-economic lines. As a writer, he’s interviewed thousands of musicians for multiple print and web-based publications.