I’ve had to accept a harsh reality recently: I am in the business of imaginary things.
I play pretend, create imaginary worlds and stories, and make things where there used to not be a thing.
This fits great with my personality in many ways because I have always had a mind that ran far and wide away from the present moment.
The trouble with being in the business of imaginary things, though, is that you have to adjust your understandings of what productivity looks like.
On the opposite side of having a mind that wanders, I also have hands and feet and a heart that get restless easily. I like to always be doing something, and my restlessness is appeased by seeing the fruits of how productive and busy I am able to be each day. I need physical evidence of accomplishments daily.
Here-in the problems arise.
Sometimes the business of imagining leaves you with no physical evidence, especially when it is in process. It is productive, no question, but sometimes the proof of productivity is only in your mind- in the space where you spend hours staring at a blank page with out putting any words down, but developing worlds and moments in your mind that did not exist before.
I’ve had to learn how to let go of my need for “productivity proof” in order that I can actually start producing things.
Today I sat at my computer and listened to music that inspired me and read bits and pieces of the script for the show I am working on and tossed around a koosh ball and looked at images and just THOUGHT. I just let my mind go where it needed to go.
What happens typically when I start to enter into this place is that the control freak part of me goes “You’re wasting time! What are you producing?” and so I panic and end up writing a bunch of useless emails or tinkering with spreadsheets that don’t need to be tinkered with all because that, though unnecessary, at least feels like physical proof of productivity.
Today though, I forced myself to stay in the THINKING place, though uncomfortable. I bounced on my yoga ball at my desk, and tossed around that koosh ball, and kept the music coming, and stared at the trees outside my window, and referenced text when I needed to, and I just thought.
And something amazing happened- nothing “physical” was created, but I produced more in a couple of hours than I have in days. I had an “aha” that made me realize that the time spent creating and discovering something, even if it is just in your mind, is time spent productively. I got necessary work done today.
The imagining of a thing is a part of the work. It might even be the most crucial phase. It is work. It is not time wasted. It is the business of imaginary things becoming real.
I’ve had so many discoveries lately about being a creative and a productive- the balance, the challenges, and everything in between.
Today I learned the art of letting myself think. I may never be the same!
A toast to all of your imaginary things- I hope you give them a chance!
Ps- THIS is the music that’s been rocking my world today