Need to be Dull to be Creative

Me, lying on a boat in the Whitsundays
Me, lying on a boat in the Whitsundays

For ages, I’ve been worrying about why I was feeling really low on creativity. It’s hard to pin point what changed – was work more demanding? Social life fuller? Too tired at the end of the day because I just do so much more physically (in Canada even with a pretty intense gym regime I was at around 3000 fuel points a day, it’s now 50% higher, nearly as much gym time, much more wondering around).

I just felt like I had no observation to make, no insight to share. And after spending all day every day on the computer, the last thing I wanted to do in the evening or weekend is spend time on the computer.

And so I stopped making for fun, and then I stopped writing, and I kept looking for things that would inspire me. A new book, a new art exhibit, a new adventure to a new place.

Sometimes it would work, I would wonder around, talk to people, feel inspired, but then not manage to make the time to actually do anything with that inspiration. The longer it went, the higher the hurdle was to overcome. If I haven’t written in ages, I forget how easy it is when I find a topic that I’ve already considered a lot, how the words just flow, and with them, if I’m lucky, extra insights.

I found the desire (as yet still un-acted upon) to code for fun, in the strangest place. I didn’t find it in a 2 week computer-free trip to Europe (I took a laptop, packed the wrong charger, and then just decided not to use it). I found it in New Zealand, after a week of no coding, but so much social activity and outreach to women.

The need to write came back to me when I realised my life is currently boring.

All this time, I thought what I needed was something exciting enough that I overcome the “resistance” and carve out the time I needed.

Actually, what I needed was calm.

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