Division of arts time

It is wonderful to have so many types of art and craft that I enjoy, and the time to experiment with other art forms. So far this year I’ve tried out multiple different styles, on top of my usual yarn time. Watercolour is now a firm favourite art style here, and I’ve loved line drawing, simply because I am awful at drawing realistically, so having an art form where that isn’t the objective is perfect for me.

However, recently I’ve fallen back in love with both reading and writing all over again, and whilst this is something I am so genuinely in love with, it means that my allocated arts time is divided again.

Normally when I’m writing, it’s between two things –  either need silence, or I have music playing to keep the creative juices flowing. As a point of observation, it’s interesting how these different ‘backgrounds’ will provide different writing results, and so are assigned to different writing styles. The book I’m working on – I’m considering self-publishing – needs silence, or at the very least music that suits the part I’m working on. Blog posts, emails, short stories and poetry can all have sound or silence, depending on what mood I’m in.

Reading again is another division of time. I’m a big fan of audiobooks, and the glory of these, to me at least, is that I can still crochet whilst reading. I’ve currently got three different audiobooks on the go, depending on what kind of mood I’m in, because I am one of those people who is always so keen to absorb the wonderful world of reading that I find it very difficult to be loyal to a book. The book I finished today, The Handmaid’s Tale, is one I was loyal to, which with me is a sign a book has really captured my heart. Reading with my eyes rather than my ears is another division, and wanting to make sure I have time to read, finding moments where I can curl up with a book, whilst making sure my eyes can cope with it at that point in time, is a balance it is hard to strike. I adore reading, as I was talking about earlier in There’s too much blood in my coffee stream and finding waves of magic coming from books is sheer wonder.

BUT.

And it’s a big BUT.

When reading – traditional reading – my hands and eyes are busy, and this removes the ability to craft. I find this demand really hard, as there are so many things I want to be doing at once. Whilst this might sound a bit pathetic, and to a mentally healthy person it wouldn’t be a big deal, I actually find it really overwhelming, as I don’t want to make the “wrong” choice. Making the “right” choice is a constant panicky theme in my life, and so even when it comes to things that are supposed to be for my own enjoyment, with no right or wrong involved, it causes a high level of stress and anxiety.

Currently, as I sit here writing this, I’m worrying about how this time could have been used to devour my book, or finish the scarf I’m working on, or update my journals, or organize my washi tape box….. You get the jist.

Crochet is such a massive part of my life, and I don’t think anything except maybe breathing tops how important it is, but all the other things that use up portions of my time and energy are important too. Trying to find that balance and division in a way that works without feeling too much like a job – well, it’s all part of mental well being really.

I love having so many different ways to express myself, and count myself very lucky that so many are accessible to me, even having to alter them slightly at times with my disabilities. Just need to focus on letting that love be the major part, and not the worry.

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