You need to say, ‘This is a period of time in which I am going to try and make something.’ If you don’t do that, then how are you going to make anything – John Burgerman
Life is, in essence, really quite simple.
You sort of have to do certain things – eat, sleep, move around.
And the rest of the time you spend just being interested in things.
For children, almost everything is new, so they spend their days in a state of perpetual wonder.
This evening, my youngest saw the moon and was amazed at how it looked – and he spent the drive back looking for it everywhere.
The elder would have ignored it, with more important things already crowding out moonlight in his mind.
If I’d been in the car on my own I’d have noticed – because I like things like that – but with someone else we’d probably have talked about something else.
And as we grow into adults wonder becomes a rarer and rarer experience.
We get used to what is around us and we ignore things like the night sky much of the time.
And that’s a pity because time passes by so quickly, so inexorably, that all too soon another year has passed.
So what is it that children see and we don’t?
I picked up one of the kids books on doodles and tried my hand at a few.
Now, the drawings are clearly done by adults trying to create shapes that kids can try doing for themselves.
And when you first try them they’re hard – they really are difficult to get right.
But that’s the point – nothing is easy straight away, we are unlikely to be naturally brilliant at most things.
A child can fill a book in a day with doodles – just scribbling away all the time.
Most adults probably don’t think about drawing anything most days – they’re too busy with work and telly and everything else that has to be done.
In today’s world the thing that makes life complicated is all the distractions.
If you had nothing to do, no television, no mobile phone, you’d notice a lot more.
You’d read, look out the window, doodle – exercise your mind and senses just naturally.
These days the virtual worlds we have are so much more addictive and we get drawn into them – or we spend more time than we should on work that really should not have to be done.
If you want to do something about that state of affairs it starts by putting aside the time to do something creative every day.
Write. Draw. Sing.
Because if you have children they’ll do what they see you doing.
And the best thing you can do for them in the world they’re going to grow up into is to encourage them to be creative.
Creative people will be able to live a life that is interesting.
And isn’t that all you want for them – and yourself?