Having been engaged for the most part of the last eight years in a steady 9-5 job, the thirst for a large chunk of time to devote to my own creative work has been searing my edges.

Even though my professional life has been contained in academia where vacation time is relatively generous and my outside creative pursuits are actually valued and encouraged, having precious small amounts of time to devote to personal creative work compacts these times into sun-heavy nuggets in which productivity--actually producing tangible work--seems the only way to extract currency from these moments of personal freedom.

It seems harder and harder to find time for pure exploration, experimentation and play when time is packaged in this way. And even when I do allow myself to use this time for musing (however brief) the whine of escaped time is never far from earshot. The value of musing and playfulness, even when it yields valuable thoughts, feelings, etc., gets lost when projects are stalling and stories are sucking ass-butt on the floor. You feel me? Anyway....

Designer Stefan Sagmeister talks about his practice of closing his studio every seven years for a one year sabbatical and what it has done for his state of mind, his creative work and his design firm.

This talk is thought provoking about process--how we create what we create; inspiring when seeing the work that was created during his sabbatical; and a bit frustrating, because it seems pretty impossible to get the point where you can take a full year off.

Thoughts on process, time, the value of it, the measure of it, etc.?

D.Rolf (Your Mother, Your Axe, Your Ex, for two weeks)


Very interesting, Dan. I wish I had a year. Usually on breaks I will read and write a bunch right away, while the reading/writing engine is in top form, but I usually poop out after a few crummy weeks.

It is probably useful to carve out a space, a real strong one, for writing time. The strength of this space must match the strength of academic intersession, that is, be "institutionalized" in your mind. Or at least in my mind. I have a lot of institutions in my mind. Banks.

I think planning the space to write and then rigidly following through with it is actually a relieving approach. Things get done and can get done relaxedly.

October 18, 2009 at 5:50 PM  

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