Pressing Matters


Feeling totally swamped with day-to-day emergencies and tedium? (yes)

Feeling overwhelmed with too many responsibilities? (yes, yes)

Feeling like you wish you had more arms, more eyes, twice more brains, and a lot more pep? (yes yes yes!)

There are so many distractions that can take our attention away from what’s important. Many things are urgent, but the truly important things are usually ones that have no immediate deadlines, other than the ones we make for ourselves.

Lately I’ve been preoccupied by the urgent and neglecting the important. To encourage myself focus on the work, I’m re-reading The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp, a book I’d have to say is the biggest influence I’ve ever had on my work habits. Twyla’s writing seems to have the effect on me of wanting to drop everything and rush to the studio.

Or maybe I just need more iron in my diet…

10 thoughts on “Pressing Matters”

  1. I haven’t made it all the way through the book again, but I seem to remember that she mentions a daughter. I think this book was written by Twyla in her later years, after her family obligations weren’t so pressing, so maybe her advice reflects this schedule.

    Anyway, what I like about the book is that she doesn’t say to do what she does, but to find what works for you…

  2. My small group is reading this book and I love it, but we were wondering if she is married or had children or ever did anything other than her dance!

  3. THANK YOU, PAM!!! Yes, I need to think about what’s really important and get back into the studio. I’m ordering the book now. And thinking of turning off my internet connection on the weekends. 🙂

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  5. How I’m feeling today is perfectly summed up by your quilt image of the iron-burned shirt. Except in my case, I clogged the kitchen sink. All my fault. But the plumber splashed water into an outlet while fixing said clog. Luckily he yelled for me to turn off the circuit breaker when he started smelling smoke. Ugh!! I think that I may have to take a look at that book you mentioned because I’d like to get back to my sketchbook. But in the meantime I got a little giggle today. Thanks, I needed it!

  6. Here’s kind of a blunt quote that I once heard, that I will disclaimer: doesn’t necessarily help when u’re uber busy, but it’s a kuhl thought:

    “When your ‘to do’ list ends then you’re dead.” 🙂

    If you’re interested, I have a link on my blog called Rescue Arts. This is to a blog by a friend from college who works with rescued girls from brothels in India. She helps them heal through arts (dance, writing monologues/poems, etc.) Her latest post is about the making of a saree. It has to do with fabric, details, and stress, so you might appreciate it.

  7. I came across Tharp’s book right after it was published, pre-reviews. I started it, got distracted (bad sign right there, huh?) and never came back to it. I’m going to pull it out today for a reread. Thanks for the nudge!
    (Love the image. I’ve done that!)

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