The Balance Between Inspiration & Distraction

13 Jul 2012

Creatively we are always looking around us for inspiration. But at what point does it shift into distraction? You can be creatively paralyzed by the work you’re so busy being inspired by, that you forget to create yourself.

Suddenly you realise hours have passed, and all you have to show for it is a lot of half-read RSS posts, a bunch of Instagram likes and an enormous Pinterest page. Pinterest will be the death of me, I’m sure of it.

How do we utilise the endless amounts of inspiration, resource, and creativity that are now at our fingertips without getting stuck in a rut? Where is the line between inspiration, and distraction?

+ Vary Your Sources

Don’t put all your creative eggs in one basket. Do you have your go to sites / albums / songwriters / art galleries? Maybe you should try switching it up and diversifying the wells from which you draw your creative water. Try some poetry, or a different style of music, or a new medium you’d previously ignored. Sometimes the very act of adjusting what goes into your mind can spark freshness with what comes out of it.

+ Disconnect

I’m sure some of you stared at this word for a few seconds before moving on. Why does this thought scare us so much? Will the world or our place in it cease to function if we don’t check Instagram for a whole hour?

Will we really miss out by not watching those three episodes of Law & Order back to back? And heaven forbid that we actually shut our computer down for a greater period than simply overnight as we sleep. The benefits to both brain and soul are without compare. Honesty time – how many tabs do you have open right now, and how far away is your phone? I guarantee if your answers were ‘more than one’ and ‘within arms reach’, you’re ready for a disconnect detox, however short.

+ Make Some Great Mistakes

It’s so easy to get caught up in a perfect world of staged photos, curated blogs, and impeccably produced songs, that you forget to make anything yourself. And when you do, it’s so far from the polished products you imbibe that you scrap it in discouragement, vow to start again, do better, and repeat the same cycle. Meaning you finish half as many things as you should.

Create! Get to making stuff. One of the best most encouraging maxims on creativity I’ve ever come across is from Buckminster Fuller; “You find out what it is by first finding out what it isn’t.” And of course, Samuel Beckett reminds us; “Ever tried? Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

+ Look To The Creator For Your Creativity

I’ve spoken in length about this before, but it does bear some repeating here. We are created in the image of a Creative God – one who breathes stars and whose very words give life to galaxies and life unimaginable. He should be our focus – He should have our attention – Colossians 3.2 tells us “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things”.

Does it not make sense that our greatest creative moments will be when we are most in tune with Him? Behance, Instagram, Vimeo… each are fantastic, but there is nothing like the Real Thing. The Bible is your most inspiring printed creative resource. The deeper your walk with God, the greater the creative revelation you have access to.

The future is bright –

gabe //