Is music a distraction when you are creating? It could be.
What about listening to podcasts or YouTube while painting, sculpting, or whatever. These could definitely be distractions.
And why is that bad? We will tell you…
In the excellent book, “The War of Art” by Steven Preston, an important point for artists and other creative people is mentioned in the introduction:
“When we sit down each day to do our work, power concentrates around us… We become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete [multiply and attach to us] … Stunning ideas arrive as if from nowhere.”
This may not be true every day, but it does happen sometimes. (In fact, it happened to me today as I was working on a painting.)
I used to catch up on the news, watch murder mysteries or play music in my studio while I was painting. No more. I stopped doing that a while back when I was feeling frustrated and my progress was plateauing.
Then I decided to simply concentrate on my work. I stopped all distractions, even restful music. Decided to pay more attention to the paints, the textures, and the GOALS of what I was working on.
I discovered I not only made progress but I enjoyed the PROCESS of painting more.
Then when I read the above passage in Pressfield’s “The Art of War,” I realized what had happened. I created an environment where inspiration could penetrate my mind. Nothing was drowning out ideas. If an idea was coming to mind, nothing overpowered it. It was free to break through with nothing getting in the way.
So if you are experiencing frustration in your creative work and you are not enjoying the process as you used to, I recommend you try creating the quietest environment you possibly can.
Then listen to the cosmos. Is Inspiration trying to whisper something to you? Is a seed of an idea growing in your thoughts?
Let it enter. Rest in it. Play with it.
Let the still small voice of Creativity speak amazing things to you.