I had some time this morning, a Saturday, alone. I have a project I've been plugging away at, but I have a hard time staying motivated. Suddenly, having that space of time to devote to it made the process inviting. Much like it has when I am alone at night and can devote my attention to the task. Which reminds me that for me (and likely others), having "space" to pursue creative tasks is essential. So is feedback from others. At work this past week, I was asked to help with something that required my creative powers. It felt less than adequate, trying to plug-away by myself in between meetings. It was only at the end of the day, after I was left alone, that I could really get something significant done. It was work I was more proud of, more sure of, and more confident about. But staying late on a Friday probably isn't the best policy. I also realized I have not written recently. Finding the time is one half the equation, the other is the mood, and the desired outcome of writing. Is it writing for an audience? Writing for a music review? To exercise criticism over lunch (photo above)? I let my food blog die because I simply didn't have the time to devote to writing it. And this blog is about my only free outlet left, that's not somehow directly tied to work or my profession. I can't say it gets much of an audience at all. Which, in some ways is typical with blogs, I think (I think the mass of attention-grabbing user-created content on the Web today is likely centered in far more social, and likely brief spaces), but also with the passing of time (I likely had more blog readers back in 1999 when the medium was more fresh and novel). I have an attention problem with music listening, too, that's developed. I find myself more and more listening to music in a dedicated room, but my attention is being divided severely. I might even say that the listening takes second seat to the iPad: I'll sit and read news, Twitter, or even just favorite blogs and websites, as the music plays in the background. If the music arrests my attention, I immediately shut off the iPad, but it likely comes back on in a short period of time. I also find myself sometimes reaching for the phone in the car - at a stop light, and more recently, driving, as a type of reaction to what might otherwise be termed "boredom." It's like life needs this extra-sensory input of email, Twitter, or news to feel "normal." Common sense implies to me that my itch to be tickled with digital input is probably not good, especially when it robs me (or you) of a precious commodity which is a required ingredient for quality creativity: time. And, in case you're wondering, the lunch today was awesome. Highly recommend Maya's in Short Pump, in the building previously dominated by Skate Nation.