Creativity, Inspiration and Castle Walls

So, a little time away from blogging and away from the computer has had me thinking – about creativity, inspiration and about the fear of missing out.

I am way too prone to obsessively reading blogs, subscribing to feeds, checking websites – all in the name of “looking for inspiration”. Is it inspiration I am looking for, though, really? Or is it fear that I am missing something? Missing an amazing new technique, the perfect quilt pattern, a review of a book that will revolutionise my art, my outlook, my life?

In reality, even if I lived for a hundred years and quilted 10 hours a day, I could never make all those quilts I have looked at and thought “I’d like to make that”.

If I lived for a hundred years and read for 10 hours a day, I could never hope to get through all the books I would like to read “one day”.

If I spent 10 hours a day surfing the net for the rest of my life, I might still miss out on hearing about some inspirational project or technique that I would doubtless love to try. And I would never have time to try any of them.

I was reading Andria’s blog and she wrote about some instructions for an online course that advised her to turn off the computer, close the magazines and look to her own life for drawing inspiration. Isn’t that just the best advice? Sometimes because we are frantically looking to find those inspirational pictures, posts and tutorials, we miss the beauty of what’s right under our noses. Like, oh I don’t know, the patterns of bricks on some castle walls:

castle wall outsidecastle wall inside

I am not saying that we can’t find inspiration for art or indeed for life from reading others’ blogs, looking at pictures of other people’s work, or perusing magazines. But it needn’t be the only way to get inspired. Sometimes we find the inspiration we need by just taking a break, stopping to notice the beauty in the everyday things that surround us.

So, although like many, I struggle with the Fear of Missing Out (check out Zen Habits great post on this) I am going to make an effort to rein in my impulse to click, click, click around the internet and instead devote my time online to keeping up with those bloggers with whom I have made a genuine connection; and limiting my inspiration-trawling to a few trusted sites that I know and love. No doubt, I will miss out on the occasional amazing quilt, technique or insight, but I will have freed up headspace for nurturing my own creativity and inspiration. It’s got to be worth the risk.

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15 thoughts on “Creativity, Inspiration and Castle Walls

  1. Great food for thought! Thanks for an inspiring blogpost…I will have to thing about this!

  2. I so relate to the concept of worrying about ‘missing out’! This season of my life seems to revolve around my family (and not so much my writing), which is my choice and which I wouldn’t trade for anything, but sometimes I feel as though the world ( of writing) is passing me by and I often wonder what I’m ‘missing’. I need to learn to ‘savor the moments’ more, and explore the writing opportunities in them, instead of worrying about falling behind everyone else. Thanks. πŸ™‚

  3. Ah, such an inspiring post, and so very true, a sweet reminder that often what we need most is right under our noses, and often if we spent at much time doing as we did viewing we would get through a whole lot more of our crafty to do lists. I am with you!

  4. Allie says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with this entire post, girl, you rock!!!

  5. Ben Naga says:

    I recently came to a similar conclusion, although I will add one more ingredient.(enjoying the chutney, BTW πŸ™‚ Glad I didn’t miss *that*) Whenever I decide to remove a site from my “Follow” list I feel as if I am insulting them. I have to remember that this is about me, my tastes and how I use my time (not to mention my addictive personality), not about them and their posts. Anyway, “Ben Naga” has had 200+ folk decide to try a taste at some point, but only a handful of Likes or Comments to any particular post, so I am not exactly out on a limb here. πŸ™‚

    • vivjm says:

      Oh Ben! I know exactly what you mean about when you decide to remove a site from your Follow list. The first time I did it, I did a trial run first by unfollowing Gman’s blog & checking that he wouldn’t get a notification to say that I had stopped following him! I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by stopping following them. But yes, we have to take responsibility for ourselves and how we use our own time. Loved the post from mindfulbalance.org too – thanks for the heads up!

  6. Ben Naga says:

    Oddly, the very next post I read after yours was this:

    http://mindfulbalance.org/2012/09/24/learning-from-the-season-let-go/

    Something in the air?

  7. Andria says:

    I know where you are coming from with your fear of missing out, though, Viv…I have such a ridiculous number of projects bookmarked, as though I could someday get back to them all to complete. If I could just sit with my own creativity awhile, and see where it takes me, I don’t think I would have need of them at all, but it’s so hard to DO THAT!! It is nice to hear that I’m not alone in this predicament. Just because I heard it in my eCourse doesn’t mean that I’m being a good practitioner yet! πŸ™‚

I will reply to comments here on the blog, so please check back if you are looking for a response! I love hearing from you x

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