Q:Is it okay to take a break from a creative habit? I'd like to unplug for a week but it would mean not maintaining a daily writing goal.
It’s definitely ok. The really important thing is to find out what works for you. And sometimes different things will work for you at different times.
When I started this blog I drew everyday without fail. I forced myself to do it, and it worked really well for me. I got on a roll which kept me motivated, and my drawings and ideas improved from the routine. But then it kind of plateaued.
The daily drawing goal started to be more of a hinderance than a help to me. I’d get frustrated with myself, doubt myself, and feel pretty down about things. I didn’t enjoy drawing anymore and I wasn’t really getting anything good out of the routine. So one day I just stopped forcing myself to stick to that rule.
There’s a lot of positive things to be said for forcing yourself to be creative even when you’re not feeling it — I still have weeks or months where I feel the need to force myself to create daily no matter what. But there are a lot of positive things to be said for taking a step back every once in a while too. These days I could happily go weeks without creating anything, and that time usually ends up being pretty valuable to me. Whenever I walk away from a project or idea that’s not working, I figure it out pretty quickly when I’m ready to come back to it.
It can feel like you’re doing something wrong by taking time away from creating regularly, and I’m actually writing a post at the minute which is kind of about this subject. So I’ll post the link to that here when I’ve finished it.
But in the end it’s all down to you. If you feel like you need that week to unplug then you probably do. As long as you know the difference between taking a week to unplug and taking a week (that turns into a month) because you’re being lazy, then you won’t go far wrong.
Q:I recently started taking a Psych course and we're learning about B. F. Skinner so now I'm curious about what you think of his idea that everything we do is a result of nurturing and environment and conditioning and we don't really have free will? I personally disagree but I'm not sure what you'll think.
I would agree with you. I think nurturing, environment, and conditioning do have a lot to do with who you are. But the idea that we have no free will is horrendous, and hopefully wrong. I guess a lot depends on how free will is defined too, and who’s definition we take as the correct one.
I’ve never been a fan of ideas like fate, determinism, and predeterminism. I don’t want to believe that we’re not in control of our lives … life is pointless enough as it is.
I don’t know that much about it all to be honest, but from what I’ve read I liked the idea of compatibilism a lot. I would actually love to know more about all this kind of thing, but I’m too lazy. I do know that if science ever does find out that we really don’t have free will, I don’t want to know about it.
A rainbow pencil will not only improve your drawings, it will also look like this as it dies.
I just finished my piece for a charity exhibition called A Letter In Mind.
I can’t show you it yet because all pieces are being sold anonymously to raise money for The National Brain Appeal.
But this is my signature on the back, and if you’re in London during October you can see the front at gallery@oxo.