I am now nearly half way through my part-time MA by research in Art and Design. I am sitting here in my studio in Wolverhampton doing what I do best: procrastinating. Even better, I am writing about procrastinating. I should actually say that I am reflecting back on the last 8 months, since I started in October, and that is a useful thing to do. It isn’t procrastinating at all. But no, I really am just procrastinating, by writing about procrastinating.
As I type, I am sat in my studio sipping coffee and thinking. This is more-or-less what I do every week, twice, sometimes thrice a week. It feels as if this is what I have been doing for the whole 8 months now: sitting, sipping coffee, looking out over the lovely Wolverhampton skyline from my sixth-floor studio window, and thinking. I think a lot.
There are days when I feel that all I have achieved is ‘faff’, think and daydream. There are days and days when I seem to just sit here, often by myself but not always, sip coffee, leaf through the odd high-brow art book, jot a few notes down in a Word document called ‘MA Thesis draft’, browse the university library catalogue for ideas, post something peculiar on Facebook (such as: thoughts have shape, discuss) and perhaps do the odd painting (not much painting, just the odd one). This routine entertains me for hours. This routine has kept me going for weeks, 8 months in fact.
However, if I look at all those notes, musings and odd paintings I have gathered around me over the last 8 months or so, I see that I have perhaps done something. It might not be as tangible as I’d like it to be, but there is something there. Perhaps it is more a cloud of thought than a concrete, touchable object.
I feel as if I am at least part of my way to constructing an ‘interesting question’ that might develop into my final MA Thesis. Somewhere along the line, over the last 8 months, I have jotted down around 16,000 random words in relation to my musings and odd paintings, Facebook questions and random thoughts. Somewhere here, there is a possible ‘interesting question’. Of course, the words I have written are completely incoherent and higgledy piggledy. They don’t even make that much sense to me yet. They certainly cannot be read by anyone else.
I have indeed spent an awful lot of time thinking about my ‘interesting question’ and asking questions that relate to the question, and more questions that relate to those questions, which leads to even more questions and more thoughts and more peculiar Facebook status updates to see what other people think and how they respond to my weird thoughts about art.
Reflecting back on the past 8 months I realise that being a philosopher / artists / MA student actually suits me quite well. I am the queen of procrastination. I love procrastination. In fact, I should do an MA in procrastination. I might get a distinction for it. Doing this MA, I have been given licence to think, play, question, ask daft questions of others, write, muse and stare out of the window. It is heaven to me.
That is why I love this life. I might not feel the same way 12 months from now when I am having to craft my ‘jottings’ into a 30,000 word thesis worthy of other eyes. I suspect I will be regretting the staring, coffee sipping and magazine reading. Maybe not. Time will tell. What is time, anyway? Oh dear, off I go again.
I just need to hope that the answer to the ‘interesting question’ comes to me. It will. I feel it. It is there. It is in the ether of my mind and online. I can see it yet I can’t touch it (oh the irony).
For now, in the meantime, I need to sip more coffee, stare at the skyline and let my mind explore and my hand will follow.