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:
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.