In today’s impromptu lockdown audio chat, I talk about two topics related to creating in quarantine:
1. How to stop every day feeling the same when you’re stuck at home.
2. Letting go of competence: When we don’t expect competence from ourselves we are able to experiment and play.
If you prefer to read rather than listen, I’ve also included a (slightly edited) transcript.
Lockdown 2 Transcript
I've got a couple of tips that I wanted to share with you this week about what I've learned over the last 10 days or so about keeping my creative practice going in these weird conditions. So I hope you're all doing well and that this will be some use to you.
1. Every day feels the same in lockdown
What's happened over the last week or 10 days is that every day has started to feel like it's the same.
I wake up in the morning and I don't know what day it is. One day which was Wednesday, I was convinced it was Friday. It's really difficult when you don't go out to have any differentiation between one day and another.
What I'm recommending - and I'm trying to do this - is that you create a routine which varies from day to day. Rather than "Oh it's 9 o'clock I must do this.”, try to create something that varies according to the day, and create a sense of weekend as well.
Maybe on a Saturday you down tools and watch some art videos, or study a new technique with an online class. Or whatever you can do to make the days just a little bit different from each other. Because, believe me, after you've been in for a while it all starts to feel very samey.
Why time speeds up
If we don't do this, what tends to happen is that the hours go really fast.
You would think it would be the opposite. You’d think it would feel eternally slow, but in fact it's the opposite. Time
speeds up. It's actually a proven fact that new experiences are what slows time down perceptually for us.
Okay, so that's tip number one: Try to create a sense of differentiation between your days.
2. An inspiring example of ‘incompetence’
Tip number two is about competence. How we have an expectation of competence when we do something that we always do.
So, for example, over the last few years, my typical media has been acrylic painting and I expect myself to be really competent with that. But if I switch into a new media like stitching - as I was talking about in the last podcast - I don't expect myself to be competent at stitching. It's not something I've really done apart from when I was a kid and my mum taught me a bit of embroidery. So I don't expect myself to be competent and, because of that, I've
got more freedom to play. I don't have to be good at it.
This is actually a really great thing for our creative practice!
So use this time to experiment with something new and to feel more relaxed about it!
I'd like to give you another example of this which has really inspired me. Here in in Loja, one of the local families run a bar. Now obviously they can't open their business, they're stuck at home in their flat. Parents and two kids. What are they going to do all day?
So they've decided to create a video every day.
It’s just a spoof video of a typical TV program like Big Brother or the Great British Bake Off.
This family are not video makers, they're just normal people stuck inside with nothing to do. And these videos are hilarious! They're putting them out on Facebook every day and people are really getting into watching them.
It just goes to show that when we shake off some of that feeling that we need to be competent at what we're doing and just go with the crazy flow, we can create something that other people appreciate.
So that's my second second tip for today: Embrace the idea of doing something that you're not competent at. Maybe something that's been at the back of your mind that you've always wanted to try, just give it a go!
I hope those tips have been useful for you. Stay safe, stay well.
Yo me quedo en casa. (I’m staying home.)