I am on holiday this week. Nestled by the coast of Mid Wales. Lots of long walks with the dogs amidst beautiful scenery. However one thing I am aware of is the almost complete lack of connectivity, broadband and phone. So I had five thoughts on the subject.
Be grateful. I live in a semi rural environment yet I have great connectivity. I have super fast fibre broadband and although the phone signal can be a little patchy at times as I live in a valley it is rarely completely off.
Plan. If you are thinking of moving to the country and you need to be connected I would plan ahead. On the TV programme Move to the Country they rarely mention connectivity. Yet one of the reasons they decide to move is that one or both of them can work from anywhere because “I am in IT.” Think again. In much of rural UK you had better find a new career.
The size of your inbox should not be related to your self esteem. I strongly suspect for many of us the number of people wanting to communicate with us is too strongly tied to how we feel about ourselves. It shouldn’t be.
Turning the phone is quite a good thing. People will survive without you.
Relax you’re on holiday. Read a book instead of emails, Facebook and Twitter.
I think just about every profession goes through a creative block at some time or other. That feeling when you don’t seem to be able to do anything.
Often called writer’s block but it affects artists of all kinds, indeed anyone who is trying to create something. It might be a book or a blog, a painting or a sculpture, a new concept or a different way of working. All of us in one way or another have reached that point when no matter what we do the page, canvas, notebook or screen remains stubbornly empty. So here are my five five thoughts.
Keep a storeroom. Always seek inspiration from others. Reading, watching, listening and recording are, in my opinion, essential to creativity. Keep a notebook, scrapbook or online gallery of things that have inspired you or made you think or you just liked. When barren times come wandering around this storeroom will, I promise, spark your creativity. You will find stuff you had long forgotten, dusty and neglected that will trigger new thinking. If you are not already doing this start today, it may be a while before you see the benefit but it will help. This blog would not have been written without visiting my storeroom.
Try a bit of demolition. Any task can seem daunting and overwhelming. Being overwhelmed is not good for the creative juices. So break the project down. Find elements you can do right away. Start with small bricks and soon you will have a wall and eventually a temple. I might have pushed that metaphor a touch to far but you get the idea. War and Peace starts with one word, then one sentence.
Get on with it. Work anyway. What stifles most creativity is the screwing up of paper and throwing it in the bin. Whether metaphorically or in reality. Get some stuff done, it might be utter rubbish but you will have done something and once you get over that hurdle you’ll be surprised how ideas start to flow. Keep everything and then come back to it. It might be days, weeks or even years later. Some of it will still be crap but there will be others things you find are actually little gems.
Listen to music. The theologian Karl Barth said he did his best work to Mozart. Music can lift the spirits, get the blood pumping and inspire you. Play something that lifts your spirit and if you can play it loudly.
Realise great work comes from great struggle. There are times when things just flow. You can barely keep up with the creativity coursing through your brain. Hey, savour the good times but don’t beat yourself up when it doesn’t come quite so easily. Sometimes it is the struggle that makes it all worthwhile.