Bad Leslie

I have been violating one of my own rules: not keeping up with my blog. I apologize.

I find that not only does my work-work (especially the legal stuff) get in the way, the ease of posting quick blurbs on Facebook or Twitter make me much less likely to “bother” to post something longer here.

I’m bothered by that.

I’ve noticed that it is also much more difficult lately to read longer form text, too. For me, that is a real tragedy. I’ve always been a reader. Even before law school, I read books voraciously. Now, I read a lot, but most of it is shorter form.

I’m bothered by that, too.

I think this is reflective of our culture but I also think that it is something that, particularly as creatives, must be fought. Creation takes time. Exploring and appreciating the creative work of others should also take time. What did Miracle Max say in The Princess Bride? When you rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.
And really, all artists are miracle (wo)men.

Do you find yourself more mentally fragmented than you used to be? Forget about whether or not you may be AD(H)D–is it harder for you on your own scale to focus for significant periods of time in order to read, watch a movie, look at work, make work, whatever? I’m not saying 20 minutes… I’m saying can you sit and focus for, say, 2 minutes? Time yourself. You’ll see just how long that feels and I bet you’ll find it’s harder than it used to be.

You can’t make your best work that way. We need to take longer to make our work, to process all the information that zips through our grey cells to produce the creative spark that becomes our best work, and to execute it to the best of our abilities. We need to learn to slow down, to disconnect from distractions, to (sorry for the bad photo allusion) focus.

I encourage everyone to start practicing mindfulness in some form so as to (re)learn to focus. It doesn’t have to be traditional meditation or some sort of hippy-dippy stuff–maybe just disconnecting from the electronic “masters” and taking a walk, riding a bike, going to a museum… something slow and deliberate.

I suspect that if we all start making the effort to be more mindful, to slow down, our work will improve. For me, that will (hopefully) mean writing more here and less of the quick hits on the other tools.