A defence of doing too many things, and what painting teaches me about writing

I am what they call a multi-passionate artist, apparently.

I divide my time between theatre making and art making.

Some people have suggested that  I lack focus.

But I am hyper-focused actually.

I just like to switch my focus from time to time.

I have been told that I will never get anywhere if

I don’t focus on one thing and dedicate myself to it.

But I think I am an incurable case.

Trying to focus on one kind of thing at a time is totally possible-

but for me not the way I roll.

Besides, one thing helps me with another.

I will paint–and suddenly a door opens in my brain, to reveal something,

I couldn’t see about a scene in my play where I was stuck and lost in the world of words..

Painting is my meditation and it’s  also my research.

It’s my journey to the part of myself that I think is called soul.

It’s a way that I connect with my creative source, my energy,

my power supply. Painting teaches me to slow down.

So painting is my cure.

But painting teaches me about writing because I think

writing is a bit like working with your mind as if you could reach in

and move things around with your hands.

You have to get hold of an idea and work it. Play with it. Roll it out.

It’s physical and visual to me.

When I draw and paint, I understand more of how to write and direct-

because it opens the part of my mind that lets me see more.

I  have to  spend a lot of time observing deeply and patiently–

for all the ways I make art.

My painting practice trains my eyes to see better–to see more.

My writing keeps me in the world of the concrete and the physical

which helps me direct.

When I paint, I understand that observation and patience,

and slowing down is necessary.

It’s non-negotiable.

So today I am reminding myself that patience

is required to get this impossible scene in my play to work.

Did I mention that right now I am focused on writing a play.

Yes focused. For now.

As someone who wants to do everything

and learn everything

and read everything

and  be everything–

and know everything–


I am learning to do less, to expect less

but accomplish more.

I am learning to be less pressured less anxious-less demanding of myself.

And this is a good thing and I learned it from painting.

On the Balcony-



7 thoughts on “A defence of doing too many things, and what painting teaches me about writing

  1. Lynna, your work moves me into a place of deep awe and appreciation. Your paintings and your writing are evidence of an open hearted curious and trusting visionary. You are an artist extraordinaire!

  2. Do less and expect less and accomplish more, it is so true isn’t. A good reminder! I love the way your words flow. I hope one day I get to see one of your plays!

  3. I thought I left a comment here, when I visited it the second time, but in my excitement of the beauty of prose and picture, I must have forgot! I love the artistry in your art forms and poetic voice! 🙂

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