Wednesday, January 16, 2013

adrenaline rushes or not

After an interesting conversation with a creative friend, I woke up thinking about what we had discussed, actually have discussed many times over the years. She says she operates best in a pressure mode when it can even mean she has a deadline that she is in danger of not meeting.  I've heard this kind of thing from other creative people where they feel without a job or some sort of forced deadline, like say a showing of their work, they won't get as much done.


Me, I operate best when I am way ahead of any deadline. I am creative and function best when I create my own deadlines and they are loose. My friend admittedly is an adrenaline junkie (so is Farm Boss) and they both get a lot done, but I don't react well with adrenaline rushes. It makes me feel pressured and upset.

Middle of the night recently, when I woke and knew Farm Boss also was, I asked if he wanted to talk a moment. Frankly I doubt he did, but he said he was awake enough to do it. I then asked what he thought about these two ways of operating. Was one preferable?  Did people who have deadlines and work up against them get more done? Was my more casual approach to deadlines actually meaning I wasn't working fully? Am I missing something by not being an adrenaline seeker?


His opinion was that studies show people are better off to work as I do and not as he does (which doesn't explain why he is so successful). He said to be way out there for what someone is doing has been proven to enable going over the work. with time to evaluate it, and a better product is created than the one rushed to a finish because it had to be.

Maybe so but is that adrenaline rush addictive, and it's why they do it-- not at all about the product but rather the process where they feel it's more exciting? They get a rush that they think makes them feel empowered.

I hear about those who have publishing deadlines and how they are pressuring themselves to meet them. Some say if they didn't have a job, they'd not do anything. I haven't had a career, but I have always stayed very active for what I do. I easily self motivate and even when I'm fiddling around, it's not as purposeless as it might seem. I have always felt very lucky that I had the time to pursue so many interests. None of them involved sitting around watching television all day.


My friend also finds it frustrating if she cannot take a project to resolution. That doesn't bother me. Yes, I do have a time when I call a work done, but where it comes to my books, every so often I look back over them; and if I see words that would be better than what I had chosen, a slight phrasing improvement, I will do it.

My organic reaction to my creative work reminds me of the carrot I ate the other day where I saw the green top growing before I cut it off and began scraping the carrot. Basically I was eating something alive. I see my books that way. They are alive and if I can come up with something to make them more alive, I will do it.

You'd think those kind of changes could never happen with a paper published author, but it can. I remember one of the successful romance authors taking a book she had written years before and expanding it to what she was then capable of writing. That's the thing. Not only is the work there to be expanded, but so are we. A writer who is always developing can always find better ways of doing things-- but then they have to decide if that impacted the energy, not necessarily bettering, of the original work.

The same thing is true of paintings but my fired clay sculptures-- once they are done, they are done even if I look at an arm and think it's a tad too long. Fired clay can only be destroyed, possibly different coating but it's done-- and the only option is create another one improving on whatever was seen as not quite up to snuff.



Geysers in Yellowstone Park from 2010. 
These provide about as good an example of creativity as I can imagine. The earth reaches out from the depths with blasts of pure energy-- much as this world originally experienced in its beginning.

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