Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Secret Weapon: The Bathroom

How does a mom find the time to be creative? Any way she can. Even if she has to sit on the can. Hardee har har.

It's a new tactic I've found. A way to increase my creativity. When I go up to the bathroom, I don't bring the cross word with me, anymore. No magazines. No light reading. Nope, I take my journal and some pens.

That is where I can write an instant poem. Or I can brainstorm a scene in my novel. Or I can sketch a drawing I've been thinking about but never had the opportunity to get started on. I can make lists of what I want to accomplish that day. I can also take the time to write down all the thoughts and feelings whirling around in my head and haven't been able to get out.

Maybe this is just a little corner of that "room of one's own" Virginia Woolf talked about. Maybe this is just a little hint of trying to get back that focus that I used to have before I was a mom. I can stay for longer than the time it takes me to pee, and no body starts yelling at me that the kids need to be changed or they want to go for a walk. It's not a babysitter for the afternoon or a naptime break, but maybe that little bathroom trip can be a pocket break, just enough to keep the creative juices flowing for when you do have an extended period of work time.

Even if I don't manage to actually write that novel up there (I don't know, do you think the extension cord for my computer could reach into the bathroom?) the few moments spent thinking about what is coming next allow me to stay in the mental game of creativity. Even if taking my paints up there would be too awkward, the planning can be done for the real painting can be done, and maybe I'll get so inspired to start, not even a cranky kid can get in my way.

And sometimes, we just need to take those fifteen minutes and focus on what is going on inside of our own heads, instead of what is going on with the kids or the household. Catch those ricocheting thoughts and inspirations before they dissipating into everything we have to do.


Natasha said...

Rowena! You totally cracked me up. More and more I think we are kindred spirits. I disappear into the bathroom to read. I never feel like I have enough time to read articles and books I want to so I steal away and curl up for a little bit on the rug on the're diong it. You're making it happen...even if you are making it happen on the can (you know what I mean hahahah) good for you!

Anonymous said...

you mean I'm not the only one that does this!

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