There was an article in Whole Living this month (love that magazine) about obsessions. Specifically it’s about creativity coach Eric Maisel‘s new book Brainstorm: Harnessing the Power of Productive Obsessions. (Which I totally haven’t read, but after reading the article totally want to.)
I’ve always been prone to mini-obsessions. When I get interested in something I like to complete dive in, read and watch everything I can about it all at once. I used to see it as a failing. Can’t I just space my interest in, say, Chi Walking, out over a few weeks, learning about it in a leisurely manner? Do I have to drop everything until I’ve practically overdosed on information?
Well, yeah, maybe I do. According to the article, by giving ourselves over to our interests like that we can develop a productive obsession: “something you choose to engage in because it fascinates you and ultimately leads you to create something (a documentary, a street fair, a screenplay.)”* Or, in the example above, a walking habit.
The idea of productive obsession is especially useful for writers, I think. Each book I’ve written, I’ve had to be a little obsessed with or it never would have been finished. I’ve also had to purposely cultivate some obsessions to get research done for the books. But that’s part of the fun, no?
Okay, I’ve got to get back to my latest obsession…car racing. 🙂
*From the article “The Perfect Brainstorm” by Frances Lefkowitz in the August issue of Whole Living