I’m reading Clara and Mr. Tiffany, by Susan Vreeland. It’s an excellent story about the women’s department at Tiffany Glass and their artistic contributions to the Tiffany brand, particularly his famous Tiffany lamps.
The themes of artists and how they create, and how women fought to work in the arts and crafts fields is well documented and sobering. Clara’s struggle is still real in many ways- for me personally it’s the balance of writing while juggling the demands of my life: work, marriage and family.
I’ve read all the books on how to carve time to write. I’ve tried writing prompts, creating a space to write, and formulating a daily routine to sit down in front of the computer (or picking up a pen.)
But, for me, it’s not that simple. I need quiet time to clear my mind of all its incessant chatter. Then there is the clamoring for attention by others. Sometimes I walk with earbuds connected to a silent iPod. I want to get lost in my thoughts as I breathe in the world around me.
I drive to work with the radio off. I often try composing poetry in my head as I drive. Today, I was writing this post as I waited at traffic lights. Sometimes it works.
But, more often I am distracted by the host of other people and tasks that fill my day. Here’s what typically happens:
I went for my walk Thursday evening and passing a mosaic that resides under the bridge I had an idea for my next blog post. I composed some of it as I continued to walk. When I stepped in the door I quickly showered and changed and went out to eat with my husband.
I keep composing in my head as I got ready for bed. I will sit down first thing in the morning and get this down I thought. Then I woke up and remembered my dentist appointment. And then the boss called and I had to go in and fix something at work. And then I remembered I needed to get the cat flea medicine and we were out of toilet paper…
You get the drift. I didn’t write that day. On Saturday I tried again, but by then the words sounded stale and the distractions around me kept me from recapturing the feelings I had Thursday evening.
Maybe I am just not disciplined enough. Or maybe I don’t value my talent or my time.
Clara knew the men in the Tiffany Glass Company did not think she was a serious artist. But she believed she was and she fought for her right to create.
Food for thought.