Subjective time has no true relationship to objective time – Creative.


RobinB Creative posits that the subjective experience of time is not a true reflection of objectively quantifiable time. However, in order to appreciate the quality of one’s time, one must dedicate themselves to a quantifiable amount of objective time.

Just because “time flies when you’re having fun”, or a boring lecture may seem “the longest hour of my life”, does not mean that we really believe that units of time literally changed to our dis/advantage. We all understand that subjective experience of time has no true relationship to time as an objective measurement.

More seconds, minutes, hours, days, and/or years = a greater quantity of time. Simple.

Quality of time, is quite a bit harder to pin down. There is no objective measurement for time-quality, as there is for time quantity. Quality of time is purely subjective. Two people, experiencing the same things, at the same time, may have completely different, even opposite opinions regarding the quality of that time. Think, for example, of a father, attending a Justin Bieber concert with his tweenie daughter — or, family game night.

I recently read a very good New York Times article, by Frank Bruni, entitled The Myth of Quality Time. In it, he very convincingly proposes, that quality time is a direct result of commitment to quantity time.

Here’s the gist. (don’t let it discourage you from reading his excellent article) He speaks of quality and quantity time in relation to relationships — more specifically, family. Quality time, is time spent relating, that specifically results in greater relationship depth, sharing, and/or closeness. His primary point is that such quality time is next to impossible without a commitment to quantity time. In other words, quality time requires quantity time to occur.

Bruni states it in terms of family members being unlikely to open up to each other, unless quantities of time are set aside, just to be with each other. However, the thought occurred to me, that this also directly applies to our creative lives, artistic and/or otherwise creative.

Let me first state it bluntly, and then look at it in more depth. High-quality creativity will occur when you commit to spending quantities of time, working on creativity.

Anyone, who has practised creativity, knows the myth and the reality of the “flash of inspiration”. The reality is that we do, sometimes receive apparently sudden flashes of inspiration. The myth is that these flashes appear out of nowhere.

Inspiration, no matter how sudden, proceeds directly from time spent working on, thinking about, and marinading in our craft, art, problem to be solved, etc. This is true from start to finish (Creative 2017).

Creative, RobinB. “Creative time – quality vs quantity.” August 23, 2017.