Being Versus Doing – Unblocking Creative Block

I believe hard work is important in life, for many reasons, foremost of which is that we’re taking responsibility for ourselves, our lives and our loved ones. Additional benefits are sense of purpose and achievement. It’s what I call “doing”.

But what then of the “being” part of being a human being ? As someone clever pointed out, we’re “human beings” not “human doings”, for a reason …

AND I believe that writer’s block, or any other kind of creative block, could have it’s roots in too much doing, not enough being.

There’s a balance to be had between doing nothing, ie just being and the doing stuff.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

— Proverb

The benefits of just being – are that we get to relax, rest and remember what it’s like not to be rushing around like a person possessed. Different people like to be “doing” different things for their “being” time … for me walking and listening to music factor quite high on my list … as do eating pizza … others may prefer meditation, or whatever their spirituality provides for the “being” part of their faith, such as prayer.

I realised sometime ago that we can’t be blogging 24/7, and so I have patches where I put the blog down and do something else, that’s not blogging. I find when I come back to blogging, I’m fresh and ready for what’s next, creativity restored and revived. It’s back to something I’m doing because I’m enjoying it, again 🙂 … the same can be applied to any endeavours where extended focus and effort are required …

Other things I like to do in my “being time” are :

  1. Cooking
  2. Making “real” things, small engineering projects – I’m handy with a Dremel
  3. Diving
  4. Photography, well the shooting part anyway.
  5. Watching movies
  6. Socialising
  7. Travel
  8. Sleeping
  9. Nature
  10. Reading without purpose
  11. Oh, and not making lists !

Whilst of course carefully steering away from things that are becoming “doing”, if possible.

Hard work is great and admirable, but not to the extent that you’re gonna burn yourself out in the process.

So, that’s my 30 minute blog for today … Take a break if you need one, put that technology down, switch it off and go do something that’s not “doing” …


Don Charisma

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15 thoughts on “Being Versus Doing – Unblocking Creative Block

  1. “Contrast” is a useful tool to employ in our lives. When we are occupied with something that is necessary but isn’t especially stimulating or perhaps desirable for us to do, our sense of what we would love to be doing is sharpened and we begin to look forward to it. Kind of like charging up a (flat) battery.

  2. Great advice, and timely for me. I’ve been battling my “doing” for awhile now. I keep doing and doing and doing and I’m not satisfied with it. It’s all very functional and goal driven. I need to back off…go trick-or-treating with the grand kids and stop feeling annoyed when my ‘goal’ is interrupted for silly things like cooking and watching a movie with mom and…all the other stuff that is part of my ‘being.’ Glad I read this post.

    1. Happy for that, sometimes I think we get so focused on the goal we lose sight of other things which are important too … Often too I find goals get reached quicker with some being time mixed in … Perhaps counterintuitive or not, who knows !

  3. I have a job that gives me both! I play with and educate children from birth to five years of age. I am very busy and do my job well, but I also get to color, paint, play with blocks and run around in the park! I do so much agree with you that we need a balance.

  4. [quote]taking responsibility for ourselves, our lives and our loved ones. Additional benefits are sense of purpose and achievement. It’s what I call “doing”.[/quote]
    You forgot one important thing in this little list: A sense of pride in a job well done, or done at all.
    To most my factory worker job is just that: a job, a way to pay the bills. To me, it’s a lot more than that. It’s the last remnants of my relationship with my dad since he helped me get it (he died nearly 3 years ago). It’s a reason to get out of bed in the mornings, especially during those tough times when it seems I don’t have much to live for. It’s something I can get a sense of pride from. I do my job and do it damn well if I do say so myself. I go in there and give it my best every single day. It may seem like a mundane, even boring, way to spend my day but I’m good at it and I can leave at the end of the day feeling the pride I get from doing my best.
    I ‘just be’ plenty, lol. That doesn’t mean my creativity is at an all-time high, though, sadly. Sometimes you have to ‘do’ in order to get the creative juices flowing because just ‘being’ we can become stagnant. *sigh*

    1. 🙂 it’s a 30 min blog, so chances are I forgot plenty of things … But that’s ok, gives people a chance to comment …

      And yes I agree … The complex machine that is the world doesn’t turn without those who do do factory work … I’ve done it myself and there is skill and a lot of patience required to be repeating the same tasks over and over … Even read that some people use their repetitive tasks as a meditation …

      1. Lmao! Yup, I use the mind numbing quality of some of the stuff I do as mediation all the time. Work is where I’ve come us with some of the stuff I’ve written.

      2. I find working with my hands often like that … and pretty cool when you can see something real that’s a finished product …
        As for recipe for genius, for me probably doing something which doesn’t involve much thinking brings the best results … Like walking on the beach listening to my music …

      3. I can relate. My job has a lot of repetitiveness day in and day out. I can stand there and stare at the moving parts and just space out for a few minutes.

      4. It’s interesting actually that many jobs probably do have elements of repetition … and yes multitasking can switch in when we’ve made it a motor skill 🙂

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