“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” -Henry David Thoreau
When we fall in love with a creative endeavor, it’s easy to let it consume us. We channel all our free time toward our art or passion and, slowly but surely, begrudge the time we have to spend away from it. We work so hard to find creative work that will serve as a sanctuary from the monotony of every day, yet, oddly enough, it’s that time spent away from our work that fuels it in the first place.
There’s a line I heard comedian Whitney Cummings say on the Tim Ferriss podcast that goes, “In order for art to imitate life, you have to have a life.”
Creativity means being in touch with the world happening outside our imagination. In fact, the more we build our creative muscles up, the hungrier for outside stimulation they become. We need to transverse the entire spectrum of emotions again and again to satiate a true creative habit. Adventure, boredom, joy, and fear are just a few levels of the nutritional pyramid of creativity.
Think of it this way: curiosity leads to interests, interests lead to ideas, ideas lead to creativity.
Insulating ourselves away from distraction in order to create is important, but only to a certain extent. We have to take our curiosity out of the house and let it roam. That’s how we keep our creativity feed and our inspiration full.
Next time you feel guilty for taking time away from your work, know that you’re not wasting time. You’re just feeding the ever growing creative beast inside of you.
Creativity equals the inspiration living outside your head.
Get out there and find it.