RHYTHMS OF WORK AGAINST RHYTHMS OF CREATIVITY
The word “performance” never aroused my particular interest, although I, I confess, sometimes used it. This word can mean 1) “fruitfulness, productivity” and 2) “the ability to produce a particular quantity of products.” It’s easy to figure out how you can control the release of a given quantity of products – for example, every day at your factory produces 100 devices of the same quality. But it’s much more difficult to ensure that you write 10 equally high-quality pages of the novel every day.
In other words, the work is not done equally. Force yourself to come to terms with this and, finally, make a call to a client or engage in this boring administration (something that is easy to control). It is quite another thing to overcome the creative crisis and give the world something completely new (it is difficult to regulate).
Therefore, I want to share a passage that I found in the classic book of Lewis Hyde, The Gift. How the Creative Spirit Transforms the World. There is a clear difference between “work” and “creativity”:
“Work is what we do by the hour. It starts and, if possible, we make it for money. Collecting a car on a conveyor belt is a job. Washing dishes, counting taxes, doing a detour in a mental institution isolation ward, collecting asparagus is all work. Creativity sets its own speed. We can pay for it, but it is harder for us to measure its quantity … To write a poem, raise a child, develop a new method of calculation, get rid of neurosis, invent anything — all this creativity.
Work is a planned activity performed by volitional effort. Creativity can be planned, but only within the bounds of the main work, or the rejection of what may interfere with this creativity. In addition, creativity has its own schedule.
[Hyde ends with this amazing note]
There is no technology, time-saving devices that could change the rhythms of creative work. When the value of creativity is expressed in terms of exchange rate categories, creativity automatically depreciates and gradually turns into work. ”
People of creative professions can easily confuse “work” and “creativity” – these are two equal parts of our everyday life. But when we confuse one with another, we create the illusion that “creative work” can be determined by will-power, it can be controlled or measured. But in reality it is possible, as Hyde notes, only to lure you to yourself.
We can do a lot to create the time, space and knowledge that lead to creativity. But there is no simple solution, there are no time-saving devices or performance systems that could change the rhythm of creation.
Sometimes it is better for us to step aside, accepting the fact that some processes cannot be accelerated. We must abandon attempts to cope with this willpower, we need to find peace that will help us move forward.