Channeling Gustave Flaubert

Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work. — Gustave Flaubert

Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois,

so that you may be violent and original in your work.

— Gustave Flaubert —

 

There’s something about this Gustave Flaubert quote that I really identify with. I always feel the need to simplify things in my life. I think that’s because I have so many things going on in my head. So many ideas, thoughts, and things I want to do, learn, see, that maybe if I simplify the other things in my life, I can make room for those crazy amazing thoughts and things to happen.

In the past few years I’ve had this feeling of wanting to go away for awhile. A month at the least. It could be something like an art residency or a self-imposed getaway. Take a break from social media, day-to-day work, and just focus on painting and creating and reading and thinking with nothing else on my mind. No regular pressures or distractions.

I can see how this quote makes sense — make your daily life easy, routine, predictable, so that you can let your creativity loose in your work. But I also see this quote being the opposite for some people. Some people don’t have the sort of work that requires this approach. Their life is where the magic is. Maybe the work, or a job, is the means to the “violent” (read exciting) life.

For me personally I lean more toward the work side. My work and life are so intertwined right now that it all goes together. I do hope someday to separate them a little more, but for now I think it’s a time of work work work work, but (as usual) I feel I could use a little more order.

What do you think, does this quote strike a chord with you?