Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Invisible Working

Today I'm watching the fourth episode of The Secret Life of Us.

In this episode, Evan tells a story in which a writer says he's working when it seems he's just looking out a window.

There's a truth to that, and not just for writers.

A lot of work is invisible. We come up with answers and ideas while looking out the window, taking a shower, sitting on the toilet, staring at a TV screen, taking a walk, playing Tetris, etc.

Although I should know better, I find myself judging people who claim to be working very hard while I suspect they're not actually working. They're just fooling around.  But when I think "work" in terms of an artistic endeavor, I am thinking of someone actually sitting down and creating something. The typing on the keyboard. The paint on the canvas. The pen on paper. But sometimes the fooling around is work too. Although if someone fools around too often and nothing is created, then maybe it's hard to justify the fooling around.

That's not to say there's no value in fooling around and having fun—relaxing and enjoying yourself. I just don't think you can always rightfully claim you are doing it as your work.