So many people are saying so many things about so much stuff. Much of it is good, but after a while, it all starts to sounds alike: Five ways to improve this. Three steps to jump-starting that. Cut through the clutter using this. Be more productive using that. Social Media this. Innovation that. Creative slump this. Information overload that.
I’m not saying this stuff isn’t helpful. Quite the opposite. If it weren’t helpful, I wouldn’t try so hard to read all of it.
And yes, I’m participating. The irony of writing a blog post about how blog posts, among other things, have hindered my creativity is not lost on me.
The daily flow of information – even within the niche genre of nonprofit communications – is simply too much to keep up with. Always something else to learn. Always something else to share. My Twitter and Facebook and Google Reader streams are flooded with information, and I’ve been washed away.
Even conversations like this one – about information overload – pop up ever day in every corner of the bloggiverse.
In my life, the information overload has led to a certain level of creative atrophy. All that time spent listening to other people’s thoughts – or thinking solely for the sake of our clients – left me with no time to think for myself. I begin to hear myself saying, “What would Kivi do?” or “What would Seth say?”
So I’ve made a few changes. The goal is to quiet things down a bit so I can hear my own voice among the clamor.
I’m learning to draw. I have always been horrible at drawing. It’s actually a scary process because I was so ridiculed by art teachers when I was a child. But I got a book and some pencils and I’ve started the long process. My guess is that I’ll never be a great sketcher or painter or illustrator. I’ll probably never even be good at it. But trying is a whole lot of fun.
I also committed to taking more photos for pleasure. No clients in mind. No purpose in mind other than making photos that I like. That’s been fun, too. The other day I went into center city Philadelphia and shot some statues after an overnight snowfall. It was the most fun I’ve had with a camera in a long time.
While I’m drawing and photographing statues, all kinds of information is passing me by forever.
But I can’t imagine that anything at all is lost by stilling all those voices and listening to the single, quiet voice that leads me into creativity and art.
Ever feel overwhelmed with all of it yourself? What do you to do replenish your creative tank?