040- How To Be Understood

There’s a simple answer to this, maybe you haven’t found it yet

Image by Jason Burger

There’s a simple answer to this, maybe you haven’t found it yet

Welcome to the Editor’s Journal; A daily thought on writing, the creative process, art, work, the world and how it all goes together. Every morning I rise early, I sit here in the quiet of my kitchen and I write whatever’s prominent. I have a bunch of article ideas saved, so I’ll either pull from them or write something new. I also write at larrygmaguire.com. I hope you enjoy the read.

Ok, so I’m gonna go against all the principles of good copywriting and satisfy your curiosity right off the bat here.

You can’t.

You can’t make or help anyone who doesn’t understand you, understand you. At least not if you want to retain your balanced state of mind, inner peace and focus.

What got me thinking on this today is my part time workspace and a conversation I had today with a friend over coffee.

I hooked up with Pat at lunchtime near the college I attend. Although it’s summer the college is open and the library is accessible to students. In fact, come to think of it, there’s not much stopping Joe public walking in and using the space either.

I’ve taken up residency here a couple of days a week to get some quality work done. The quiet I need to work is not generally available at home unless the kids are in school and my beautiful other half is at work.

Quiet is vital for me.

I can’t do productivity when there’s other stuff vying for my attention, even if it’s going on passively in the background. I tend to get very irate.

That translates into agro with the kids and my wife and nothing gets done. I should know better than to try be productive in those circumstances but I don’t always remember.

My bad.

Anyway, we got talking about the subject of creativity and in particular what it’s like being a creative working from home. Pat, like me is an ideas man. He doesn’t like to hang around for the monotony of the continued roll out of the thing he has made.

He’s working on this exciting tech project and I’m doing some writing on the subject so we keep in touch and share ideas on creativity and business and that kind of stuff.

“My wife just doesn’t understand”, I said.

“I’m working and she comes into the room chatting like I’m on a day off. She is, but I’m not”.

“Then there’s the hoovering. Into the room she comes, I’ll just be a sec! she says”.

“She asks me favours too, like; can you mind the kids while I nip out for a few mins? Man, it drives me crazy!”

“My wife and kids have given up”, said Pat.

“They all know what I’m like. They know that they can’t come near me when I’m working, it’s pointless”.

We went on to compare shared creative traits and how often our need for isolation and quiet can be misunderstood by not only those close to us, but friends and onlookers too.

Often creatives can be labelled cantankerous and moody, egotistical and demanding. Others often say creative people don’t work well as part of a team.

Well, I perhaps can’t offer the most succinct explanation of the creative’s state of mind when working, but what I can say is that these views are from the outside and can never really get to the heart of it.

Only you who have experienced what I’m talking about can actually relate.

The Importance Of Quiet Solitude

A college library isn’t exactly the quiet solitude required for self reflection and contemplation, but it is quiet. I can get stuff done here and maintain a degree of flow that I cannot at home.

Although I can’t blame my family entirely either. There are too many distractions at home like the fridge and the coffee machine. At least here in the library I’ll reduce my coffee intake.

Then there’s the bloody guy a couple doors down who seems to be eternally cutting his fucking grass. In fact, I think he cuts the grass for the entire neighbourhood some days.

Or the jackdaws and magpies cackling like crazy outside. Or my sons’ friends that seem to knock for them every 15 mins even though I’ve told them they are out.

I’ve got a garage at the end of the back garden that I need to convert into a studio/office. Once I do that I’ll solve all my problems…maybe.

I’ll get one of those red lights outside the door. You know like in a recording studio?

That’ll fix it.

Until then I’ll work wherever I can.

Bottom line is I’ve found, people who are not you can never truly understand you. There are those who are from the same factory as you and do understand your creative needs, but those married and born of you don’t.

They are not supposed to anyway.

They are supposed to test you and challenge you to better. Besides, you wouldn’t change them even if you could.

The Artist’s Manifesto is a short book about staying true to our art. It is a call to Artists and Creatives like you to create from the heart with passion and integrity, disregarding the need for applause and recognition. It’s available from 13th May 2017. Grab your FREE copy here.

Like More of This Kind of Thing?

Howdy, I’m Larry, Writer & Artist. Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. I write about art, creativity, business & marketing. When I’m not doing that I write short stories about the ordinary lives of people and the challenges they face. My stuff can be edgy, hard hitting, and sometimes controversial, but never contrived. If that’s your bag you can Sign-up To Sunday Letters Here.