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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Creative Bucket is Empty.

Who knew that creative juices are of finite supply?
My blog has been a welcome outlet since it's early days, which happened to coincide with big life questions, of the kind that occur naturally around milestone birthdays but loom ominously when business is tanking all around and hours are spent next to a loudly silent phone wondering if a client will ever materialize and help pay the rent or even buy dog food. Reluctantly plundering a family nest egg inherited from hard working parents; trying to look on the bright side and give and receive mutual support from self employed friends who are similarly mired in the back waters of an odoriferous brown creek with no paddles in sight. I have found solace, empathy, laughter, friendship and distraction through the portals of my blog. I have filled many hours and enjoyed expressing thoughts, feelings and images. My days have been less fruitless and I have been able to deny my woes for hours at a time; producing some frivolous posts to pass the time and a few meaningful ones which are worth revisiting.
I am not surprised that things are looking up. I have always been optimistic with a strong twist of pragmatism. (Don't stop now, there is no plan B). We have never given up and continued to think of every way we could come up with over the past year and a half to create our own momentum. We are finally feeling some of the raindrops of prosperity starting to trickle down as confidence builds and tendrils of business unfurl from their self-protective, dormant state.
What I had not expected, as I have enjoyed putting my skills back to work interpreting building designs and concepts into practicable projects for clients' who are unskilled at articulating their desires, yet so appreciative of the results when someone else listens to the nuances of their preferences, is the creative void at the end of the day.
It is hard to wrangle words and sentences together into coherent thoughts without chunks of uninterrupted time in which to focus. In addition, as I drive or walk around, I am no longer spinning thoughts of things I want to craft for a post on my blog. I am wrestling with client projects; how best to create a French formal fireplace in a limited space; and quickly before the home owners go at each others' throats in the hotel room in which they currently reside with one large poodle. I get frequent calls for brainstorming with another, who wants to pick my brains about the building style of Provence; for the house we have talked about for two years that will begin construction this month. The roof tiles and interior floors are sitting here waiting patiently. Reclaimed antique terra cottas from the South of France. We're off to a good start on this one.
"Less is more" is my most frequent mantra. Don't include arches, columns, murals and grandeur just because you can. Respect the architectural elements and they will tell the story. Balance, proportion, authenticity, restraint and quality produce a fine environment. Fabrics and furnishings can embellish the tale but live in peaceful equilibrium with the structure and flow of your home.
I'm giving it all I've got and enjoying most of it. So I'm not really complaining. I have always had work and life intertwined as one. I don't know how to live any other way.
I am keeping up with reading all the new posts on the blogs I have been following. I couldn't miss out on new developments in the lives of the familiar Bloglanders I so enjoy. It is often the case now that I want to comment but feel some reflection is required to formulate a considered response and I only have a minute so I refrain. I have been feeling like a slacker as I have struggled to post even once a week, in comparison to days when I felt the urge to write multiple posts.
I expect to re-habituate myself to fuller days and find hidden depths in the inspirational well, from which I can refill my creative bucket.


  1. I loved this post. I love your blog.

    I love the support you have given to me and my blog, but I don't need comments from you to feel you are there.

    I celebrate your return to the art of your business (which really is art, and was fascinating to find out about in this post). Enjoy the latest phase in your life and the equilibrium you hope for will come to pass in its own time. I am in awe of all you do. :)

  2. Lydia, Thanks for you comment. I suspect that I will show more of the positive side of my clients' projects. It is a pleasure to take part in the creation of beauty. I have no formal training. My opinions are free of cost and free of ego. But I have lived and worked in some amazing places and I was paying attention. I try to tell it like I see it and work towards the best conclusions for client and builder and architect. I specialize in moving things forward rather than looking back. "The Psychology of Construction" is a book worth writing one day.

  3. "Go quietly amidst the noise and the haste..."

    You know we are happy with whatever you can give of yourself and your time ? There are no obligations here... which is what is beautiful about the blogosphere... you can go away for a month if you like, and we'll still be around... Guess we've all be up that odiferous creek at one point or another... Hang in there, that pony is coming, I can feel it in my bones...

  4. Once a week or once a month.... my blog is also falling by the side of life's' road... and I hesitate to comment far too often these days.

    Interesting way you are filling your time.

  5. Being a victim of your own success is a strangely ambivalent place... I have no wisdom to impart, merely to suggest that you go with the flow...

  6. Take a break. Your blog is worth preserving and, for us, reading with pleasure. Take a break, you are sensible and capable (I am sure I have gleaned that from your posts), and you will be able to replenish those creative juices by and by. (Not that I've noticed them drying up).

  7. ER, I was kind of holding my breath after mid-point of the first paragraph, thinking you were going to pull the plug completely. (Is there such a thing as blog suicide?? I guess so.)
    So I'm quite relieved that you're not, and perfectly happy to know that your attention is where it damn well should be - on the almighty dollar. Kidding aside, I'm really pleased that your days are full of constructive (no, I didn't intend that pun) projects and stimulation and satisfaction. If this means your humour won't be quite as sharp, well that's OK too.
    As for me, I'm happy to know you're around there somewhere and will be perfectly content to read you whenever the urge strikes you,

    But if Owen turns out to be right, please, please, pretty please don't change the name of your blog.

  8. Go. Work. Fill your bucket. Life is filled with many chapters and characters wander off and reappear. I think many here have felt, and feel,the same way about not having enough time for everything. I know I have and, since I'm applying for grad school, imagine my time is coming up again. But, I have found the blogosphere to be very flexible and resilient and we'll be here, hither, and yon. Best of everything to you, ER :>)

  9. Each person has the ups and downs as you describe. Sometimes busy and then so creative and then a dip into the quiet calm and not active time. It is all good, is it not? Your writing is always worth reading as far as I am concerned, so what and when is up to you.

  10. You know, I love blogging, because the blogging community all know what the score is. Sometimes people go quiet, that's cool, sometimes people go nuts, that's cool, but whatever people do, we all know that we know that we know.... or something! :-D

  11. Like Watercats said - or at least what I think Watercats said LOL. Trying to force yourself to write only suck all the fun out of it, so don't fret it. We'll still be here.