Saturday, 28 February 2015

Process or Product?

Process or product: which is more important? Writing this blog is a process. If I actually get something written, that is a product. Experts make a pile of bucks trying to help people be more productive, developing charts, giving seminars, etc. I'm examining the issue for free!

Take my blog: every week, for the more than 80 weeks, I've been focusing on productivity. But the process is important, too. The process for writing goes something like this: On Sunday, I rest! I check my e-mail and Facebook to see if I have any comments on my last posting. I’m kind of shameless that way.

On Monday I begin opening my ears and eyes for the next “hook” that will get me off and running. If I can think of an idea early in the week, so much the better. It gives me time to ruminate – did you know that the word ruminate comes from the Latin word ruminan, meaning to chew the cud, as a cow does? One dictionary defines it as “to chew again what has been chewed slightly and swallowed.”  Yup, that’s what I do!

The ideas don’t always come quickly. Sometimes, it takes quite a few days before a little light bulb goes off in my cranium. But when I do get the idea, I begin writing a “beginning”. If it works, it’s easy. The words and ideas flow, and all the neural connections are firing.

But sometimes, the writing is heavy lifting. Maybe I collect and ruminate on a number of ideas before something sticks. Then I write, but nothing sounds right. Or, the days are filled with “stuff” that gets in the way, so I have no time to write.  

Perhaps you may have guessed that this is what is happening to me right now. Earlier in the week, I began thinking about the process/product idea because I was working on a quilt/art project that’s been years in the making. That's a long time to process something before a product results.

Our son and his good friend Mark painted this "en plein air" in the Edmonton River Valley back in 2004. I thought it would make great fibre art. I tried making it once in 2008, but the "product" ended up in the garbage.

It's seven years later. In the meantime I went through a process of learning. Now I think it's working!
I knew it was going to be a busy week, so on Monday, instead of writing, I chose to work at my art and quilts. On Tuesday, I had very important things to do: a meeting of a group of quilters, and a walk in the sunshine, followed by tea with a friend. On Wednesday, I was an Oma instead of a writer or quilter. Our 6 year old grandson has made it very clear to his parents that he is not yet ready for all=day schooling, so he’s home for another year. On Wednesdays, we get him hanging out at our place. (We should pay the parents for the privilege, but don’t’ tell them that!) Instead of writing my blog, I baked with him, played games, sat down for our ritual eggs and bacon breakfast, etc. On Thursday, the resident sweetie and I were traveling to visit the other grandies. When we arrived, believe me, there was no time to write. We cuddled, ate,  snuggled, read stories, cuddled, laughed, and caught up on what we’d missed since we’d seen each other last.

Now it’s Friday morning. I got up early so I could be alone for a bit to write my blog, but the kids beat me. They don’t have school today (PD day), so they’ve created a schedule of activities for me. We will be making pillowcases and other crafts together, and this evening there’s a concert we’re attending together. Ditto for Saturday.

So I’ve given up. I left them to watch cartoons on TV, while I set up my computer on the kitchen table to write this up as quickly as possible. I'm eager for a product. But even as I’m writing, they’ve joined me here with a bunch of recipe books, and lots of ideas on what we will be cooking up for breakfast – french toast and fruit kebabs. It seems the product -- my blog– has been co-opted by the process of being with my loved ones this week.

And yet? I'm laughing all the way to the craft room. The blog, it appears, has written itself.

Conclusion: Process or Product -- they're both important. That's my two cents worth!

The goal was making colourful pillowcases. Job done! And the process of making them was terrific, too. The girls decided the picture needed to include the quilts I've made for them over the years.

1 comment:

  1. Somehow, I missed this blog. Love it! What a wonderful photo at the bottom.