Yesterday we talked about how some of the sources of information we consume for creative inspiration can actually have a negative effect on us.
These days, blogs, books, websites, magazines, etc. provide an infinite amount of information and inspiration, but imbibing too much can be unhealthy. What’s the point of looking at inspiration if we’re not actually making anything?
I think the solution is limiting what we consume as well as how often we consume it.
When deciding whether or not I should give my attention to a certain source of information, this is the most helpful filter for me:
Does this source inspire me to positive thoughts and/or action? Or does it pull me towards comparison, doubt, and inaction?
Note: I am not blaming the source; I’m just evaluating how I react to it.
When it comes to the amount of consumption, honestly, spending too much time online is sometimes a real issue for me. I’ll feel obligated to read every blog post in my Google Reader. What!? Or, I check Facebook every few hours just to zone out and see what everyone is up to. WHAT!?
Acting according to your priorities, learning personal discipline, praying through any root issues involved, and cultivating time management are key to improving in this area. And I have a lot of room to grow in all of those!
For example, right now I’m writing this post in a coffee shop. I’ve been here for a couple of hours, working on a creative project. For the first two hours, I kept checking Twitter, Facebook, and blogs on my phone. Seriously? I’m here on purpose, following my own advice to carve out time for creative action and yet I’m still distracted by social media, even though my laptop isn’t connected to the internet. I think this was caused by my feeling that I might “miss something” on Twitter or FB, a fear of committing to a project and failing, and a lack of discipline.
A better course of action would have been to text my husband and tell him that I’m turning off my phone for a few hours and he knows where I am if he needs me, and then turn off the phone and commit to not turning it back on until a certain time.
Like I said, this is definitely something I’m continuing to work on!
One helpful resource on this topic is Don Miller’s The Way of the Creator blog series. It includes a lot of wisdom on creating v. consuming, and I found it really thought-provoking.
What do you think about limiting consumption of “inspiration”?