Diane Ackerman, in her latest thought provoking book, The Human Age, writes, quoting Amber Case, a cyborg anthropologist,
"'So, for instance,''Case explains,'we have these things in our pockets that cry, and we have to pick them up and soothe them back to sleep, and then we have to feed them every night by plugging them into the wall, right? And at no other time in history have we had these really strange nonhuman devices that we take care of as if they are real.'"
So balance away we do, between "real" and virtual, analog and digital, action and meditation. I think that as artists the challenge is multiplied by our relationship to making (and, for some of us, selling and/or teaching as the business side of art). I have to make real appointments with myself to get the art done, which is the reason I am doing all the other things I do. Sometimes the cart does pull the horse!
I have found a few things that help me keep balance and clarity:
1. Put the calendar on the wall with all the big events and dates for the year. Keep details on the computer calendar (one single one.)
2. Weekly, schedule studio and art biz time (I'm trying to chunk in 2 hour blocks since that seems to be the time limit any creative or mundane task can be seen to with attention.)
3. Meditate every morning: 15-20 minutes of "nothing" helps me focus the rest of the time.
4. Be as fearless as possible. Eat the big frog first.
5. Hire a coach. Be accountable.
6. Find community -- we artists work and create in solitude. Living in the country, I have to remember to see friends, talk to other artists, and connect -- yes, even on Facebook.
7. Keep learning myself. Online courses and indepth workshops make that easier than ever (even if it adds to the technology balancing act). Build your skills (i.e. watercolor!)
8. Turn everything electronic off for at least one hour per day. Everything. (This is really hard for me...) Draw or walk or read a real book or talk to someone without distractions.
9. Be impeccable with your word. If you know you really have to carry through with the promises you make, you will be more likely to make those promises and commitments more carefully and thoughtfully.
I am not perfect with all of these, Some of them I am not even imperfect with. They are my intentions. How about you?