Eugène Delacroix over uitstelgedrag

Bij het verzamelen van inzichten en ideeën over uitstelgedrag viel m’n oog onlangs op dit citaat van kunstenaar Eugène Delacroix waarin hij zich beklaagt over zijn eigen uitstelgewoonten. Hij schreef het in zijn dagboek in 1824.

Het herinnerde me eraan hoe goed we er vaak zijn in het doen van dingen waar we het minst in geïnteresseerd zijn en hoe subtiel het onderscheid kan zijn tussen bevlogenheid en afleiding.

The absurd mania I have for doing things in which I am not vitally interested, and therefore doing them badly; the more I do such things, the more I find to do. I’m always having excellent ideas, but instead of working on them while they are still fresh in my imagination, I keep telling myself that I will do them later on — but when? Then I forget about them, or worse still, can no longer see anything interesting in ideas that seemed certain to inspire me. The trouble is, that with a roving and impressionable mind like mine, one idea drives another out of my head quicker than the changing wind alters the direction of a windmill’s sails. And when I have a number of different ideas for subjects in mind at once, what am I to do? Am I to keep them in stock, so to speak, quietly waiting their turn? If I do that, no sudden inspiration will quicken them with the touch of Prometheus’s breath. Must I take them out of a drawer when I want to paint a picture? That would mean the death of genius.

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