A Creeping Sense of Urgency

4 photographs of black line drawings, bear, vase, bath and foot, spoons

As I mentioned last week I’m currently taking part in an online drawing course led by Michael Nobbs. Just over a week into the course and I’m enjoying checking my inbox each morning for the drawing prompts and guidance.

I’ve been drawing regularly again since the beginning of this year and both drawing and photography allow me to take some time that’s just for myself.

I can become completely absorbed in drawing or the taking of a photograph and all the other things that need to be done, that usually seem so important, just get put on hold and are still there when I’m finished.

What I noticed today though, was a creeping sense of seeing the tasks for the drawing course as things that need to ‘get done’. Don’t get me wrong, I’m doing them, I’m enjoying doing them and look forward to seeing what everyone else on the course has been up to.

It’s more that, once I’ve done my daily drawing I feel like it’s something I can tick of my to-do list for the day, along with appointments I might need to keep or household chores.

It was interesting to realise that this was happening because I think being aware of it and recognising it as soon as it starts is helpful.

I’m taking it as a sign that I need to slow down a bit and take even more time to enjoy the creative process, the doing part, not just the production and completion of a drawing (or a photo).

If I don’t get a drawing completed on a given day (which has happened a couple of times already) then that’s OK and I can come back to it in my own time, otherwise the whole purpose of creativity for me will be lost.

9 thoughts on “A Creeping Sense of Urgency

  1. Milo Reply

    It’s a difficult balance to get right isn’t it. It’s great to have a daily habit of creating something but i agree that you want to enjoy the process too. Nothing wrong with taking a day off now and again either 🙂

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      Hi Milo. Yes, you’re right. Finding that balance can be very tricky and I naturally tend towards putting pressure on myself to get stuff done. I do take days off here and there and I value that time with no agenda/schedule, as well as days when I don’t plan to do anything creative but find myself inspired to do something spontaneously. It’s only today that I really sensed that I might be pushing myself a bit too much so I’m glad I clocked it as soon as I did. 🙂

  2. Tamara Epps Reply

    While I kind of see your point about lacking creativity when it becomes something to check off a to-do list, I have often found that if I don’t put the creative tasks on my to-do list, I just won’t do them. Yes, it does make it feel like I have to get it done, but that just means it’s so important that it should be on my to-do list.

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      Hi Tamara. I also have to make time for creativity to ensure it doesn’t get forgotten. I suppose what I was trying to say here was that if I put too much pressure on myself to be creative then I’ll no longer enjoy what I’m doing, which would kind of defeat some of the purpose for me. I totally agree that it’s important enough to be on the to-do list, I just don’t want to rush through drawing or taking photos, I want to continue to enjoy the process as much as the completion of it.

  3. Joy @ Joyfully Green Reply

    I had the same exact feeling during the online photo course we took! I enjoyed it thoroughly, and yet, there were added things for me “to do” on an already overcrowded schedule. Now that the course has ended, I look forward to putting into practice everything I learned, but on my own schedule–so if it makes any sense, I think I will enjoy the lessons more now! P.S. Your drawings are great!

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      Ah yes, the drawing course overlapped with the photography one by just over a week so I ended up taking and posting fewer photos to the group page than I would have liked because it was a bit too much for me on some days. I agree that it’s nice to continue putting the things we’ve learned into practice at our own pace. I’m really grateful to Tammy for providing us with all the course material so we can keep going back over it. It makes total sense that you might enjoy the lessons even more now! I’d love to see any new photos you take as a result :).

  4. Hayley-Eszti Reply

    I’m sure I’ve said this before but I just love your artistic style! xx

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      Well that’s very kind – thank you :).

  5. Tana Bevan Reply

    I hear you! I noticed that phenomenon last year during my first foray into NaNoWriMo. The premise behind NaNoWriMo is you write at least 50,000 words during the month of November, ostensibly a novel. I was so focused on the numbers that I reached (surpassed) that goal within a couple weeks. However, I didn’t do much after that as 1) I was drained from the effort of crunching, and 2) I’d reached the “goal” of NaNoWriMo and didn’t see any “reason” to continue.

    No regrets for having gone through the experience, just observing the outcome was different than expected.

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