Stop Distraction from Interrupting your Creativity!

I am one of the guilty ones — when I sit down to sew or draw or weave or hook and the going gets a little rough or I when I might get a little bored with the repetitive process of my craft du jour, my mind starts racing about all of the other things I have to do, I get hungry, or I have to pay a bill, or I remember to take the dogs out for a walk or or or or — my first impulse is to stop what I’m doing, move away from my work space, and do something else. Anything else!

It’s just a normal distraction and all artists have them.  The trick, of course, is for us to learn to move through those distractions so that we can continue creating the art we began.

Distractions happen to everybody.  I have been a student of Transcendental Meditation for years.  Yet it is not uncommon for those of us who quietly meditate to get an itch while we are meditating.  Until we learn that that itch is just a distraction and will go away if we gently bring ourselves back into the moment and continue to focus on our meditation.  While meditating or praying (I’m a big rosary sayer), it’s not uncommon for my mind to wander all over the place — who I have to call, what I have to do, where I have to go, until I remember that those thoughts are just distractions from my prayer or meditation and bring myself back to moment.

Your art, your creative process, is your meditation.  Your art is just another form of prayer!

Distraction will hit the creative mind every which way it can to take us away from our art.  Call it ‘fear or failure’ or ‘fear of success’ or whatever you like, but the bottom line is useless distractions interrupt our creative process and takes us away from our art, but only if we allow it.

When you are in the middle of creating and life calls out to you.  Stop. Listen. Then continue creating.  When it happens again.  Stop.  Listen. Create.  Know that what is calling you away from your creative work is just a distraction and you will address it when you are finished with your day’s work.  Acknowledge your thoughts and then let them go.

Sometimes, on those days that I am my absolute worst enemy and my creative A.D.D. is trying to kick my butt, I will jot down my disruptive thoughts on a piece of paper that I keep next to me, making a “To Do” list of sorts.  The list takes what I’m thinking about out of my head so I can stop the creative blocks and interruptions!

Now, before you say, “That’s all well and good, but it’s not me . . .” When was the last time you counted all of your started, and still unfinished, projects?

Acknowledge your distractions and let them go!

© Pickle Road Studio, LLC

 I hope you enjoy my creative thoughts for hobbyists and crafters. I post new blog thought entries every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesday’s are reserved for Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski’s guests and new creative personalities that you’ll want to know and learn about. Of course, I sprinkle things happening on Pickle Road throughout the week.

I invite you to subscribe to this blog by clicking the button on the left side of this post. Also, why not share my posts with your creative friends and co-workers by clicking on any of the share links? If something really resonates with you, print it out and tack it to your bulletin board or tape it to the wall of your creative space, sewing or craft room as a gentle reminder that you can re-read!

As always, I love to hear about your creative life, wins and challenges! Leave a comment here or email me at Create and laugh through this week. And , as always, always do what you love! xoxom

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16 Comments on “Stop Distraction from Interrupting your Creativity!”

  1. Patricia Raygor
    August 9, 2011 at 6:33 AM #

    WOW! Did you hit home with this one. I have the mind wandering problem, too. Always have. Sometimes it is difficult to come back to where I should be. Thanks for the heads up. I needed that one.
    Luv ya and all you have to say.


  2. August 9, 2011 at 6:57 AM #

    I’m so bad (good?) about listening to the distractions. You’ve described exactly what happens. I’m glad someone else understands. I, too, have started keeping a notepad handy to write down those things that pop into my head, just so I don’t have to stop what I’m doing right then. After I’m done, then I can deal with the list I’ve made. I’m such a flitter . . . I also use a timer to keep me on task for a certain amount of time. Sometimes I’ll even walk away and forget I set the timer — how bad is that?


  3. August 9, 2011 at 10:15 AM #

    Great reality check Mark. Thank you! Praying the Rosary always makes my mind wonder. Feels good not to be alone with that one. 🙂


  4. August 9, 2011 at 2:41 PM #

    Mark, I smiling and nodding my head as I read this fun thought for the day. So often I refer to my fmq as a meditation and am silent while working or will take new fabrics on the road w me and just touch them when wanting a rest or a calming moment.. A sort of prayer, I like it! And my class I taught today at work was ADD and medications and when they r used and not used. GODWINks!!! Happy TOOsday, Em


  5. Cheryl Turner
    August 9, 2011 at 5:22 PM #

    I like the list idea!


  6. Maggie Magee
    August 9, 2011 at 10:15 PM #

    Love the thought . . . art being another form of prayer!


  7. August 10, 2011 at 3:55 AM #

    Thank you so much Mark. It is such a comfort to know that I am not the only one!!


  8. August 10, 2011 at 4:03 AM #

    so easy to allow distractions in and step away from creating – which is the most important, crucial even.


  9. Pati Shambaugh
    August 10, 2011 at 8:25 AM #

    Oh Mark, I can so relate. This is why right now I keep “bug parts” for my butterfly pincushion pins, in my purse. My ADD may distract me from making one start to finish in one sitting. BUT… in 10-15 minute increments (waiting for an appointment or a table at a restaurant… or Mom) I can finish one part of the next butterfly.

    I think the true problem is that our kind of ADD is that we are already creating the next project while we are trying to implement the last project idea into a finished project. It’s hell being creative without a “cloned drone”.


  10. August 11, 2011 at 8:03 AM #

    This past weekend, I had a house full of family who were creating together. We spent alot of time talking about this very thing. First the spinning on “WHAT project to start” – our motto is now “Just pick one and get busy”. Once you start, the creative energy begins to flow. We hadn’t come up with a good idea for what to do when those little distractions come in once you start. I’m going to share the list idea with my pals. That’s what all those sticky pads we keep in our spaces are for, right??


  11. August 11, 2011 at 10:17 AM #

    One thing I do is always leave something very easy ready to sew – squares for a 4patch, some chain piecing, some prep work for a future project. This allows me to have something really easy to work on so my mind can wander. If I don’t have a project like this handy, then I tend to walk away and do the laundry, watch TV or otherwise get distracted. If I get distracted, then I lose my sewing time (possibly for the whole week) and feel frustrated later. If I have something easy to do, I may not get done what I was planning, but I get SOMETHING done and that is infinitely better than nothing.


  12. August 12, 2011 at 6:06 AM #

    Absofreakinlutely, all!

    Mark, I want you to know I stitched on a little hand-held cross-stitch project the other day and it felt GOOD! I haven’t stitched in months and I’d forgotten “every stitch is a prayer.”

    I got some more of the plastic folders I like so I can organize my projects (UFOs) better and will start my “rotation” again. I have my notebook handy, in case I have other ideas for projects come up.

    FOCUS. Love ya!


  13. Cathryn
    August 13, 2011 at 3:44 AM #

    Love this post. Thanks!


  14. August 20, 2011 at 11:44 AM #

    So very true!
    Really enjoyed reading your post…great blog!



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    […] Stop Distraction from Interrupting your Creativity! ( […]


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