I've had a weekend of apparent procrastination. It feels like I've spent the time on the sofa with my feet up watching food programmes and episodes of The West Wing. This in itself is not a complete waste of a weekend - I love watching the combination of ingredients and anticipating flavours in my mouth, and I am an addict of Sorkin's dialogue and the acting and timing of The West Wing ensemble; it is however by no means all I did - it's just that I feel like it's all I did. I sit fizzing with a sense of the potential of the time I am not using - a couch banana if you will.
Yet I also spent a lovely day wandering around a city centre; got my first request for a commission, which I sketched out and mocked up; and I completed a submission for www.standuptragedy.co.uk's new publication; oh, and wrote the last blog entry (including all that pumpkin stuff); so all in all quite productive. So why the feeling of procrastination?
I think the act of sitting on the sofa connects in my mind with avoiding work - with missing the chance to do more. I feel a sense of guilt that I am not pushing myself further - even when I deserve, or need the chance, to chill out. The deeper danger is that I begin to feel that my enjoyment of painting and writing means that I must make them more like work; enforcing a sense of rigidity and obligation in my approach. There must be a sense of discipline of course, but it must come from the enjoyment of the process and result, not from the fear of being different.
I am aware of my latent masochism peeing its head over my shoulder, whispering its doubts and insecurities into my ear, stressing my mistakes and failures, noticing the one error amongst the thousand successes. This time I see the imp for what he is - a critic: myopic and domed of head, face twisted in a sneer that comes from his own inactivity and an over abundance of bile; and am able to reply: a knock back is not a failure, tiredness is not worthlessness, and a day relaxing is not an inability to commit to the job.
So instead of crumpling under the pernicious mutterings at the edge of my hearing I will watch another episode, one where Josh and Toby lose it over different time zones between counties in the Midwest, then go and paint something that captures my imagination. It might work, it might not, but both are worth doing, right?