Creativity is so important to me. As a blogger, small business owner, teacher's aide, wife, homemaker, Christ-follower and much more, I draw on my ability to think creatively every single day. I keeps me moving and I absolutely rely on it!
As I alluded to in my New Beginnings blog post a few weeks ago, my drive and creativity have felt a bit, well, lacking and weak recently. I would sit down to try and write a blog post and absolutely nothing would come to me. I have a huge list of blog post ideas I want to write all noted down in a Google doc ready to go, but when I read through them nothing would spark anything in me. I just couldn't come up with anything!
This was really distressing for me. I love being a creative person. I love being able to come up with new, innovative and interesting ideas. Creativity is an essential part of my life.
The Importance of Creativity
Without creativity we would all be robots. Sure, we might all be able to spell every word perfectly and no one would get stumped on a tricky maths question but any new problem to arise in the world would remain a problem if we couldn't creatively come up with a solution to it. Creativity is essential to progress and growth.
"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."
~ Albert Einstein
Problem solving isn't the only benefit of creativity either. Some studies* show that having an open creative mind can actually help you to live longer. Nicholas Turiano, of the University of Rochestor's Medical Center and a co-author of the study says,
"Individuals high in creativity maintain the integrity of their neural networks even into old age."
My Creativity Drain
As I mentioned, I've been feeling like my creativity and enthusiasm to be creative has been really drained in recent weeks. It took me a lot of time to figure out why I have been in a creative funk but I have finally come up with a reason.
Over the last while (since we have had internet again) I have spent a lot of time reading other blogs, browsing Pinterest, listening to podcasts or music, catching up on YouTube videos or my TV series that I have missed. When I say a lot of time I mean A LOT.
Now probably a majority of what I've been doing has been blogging/business related. It makes sense that I do some research so I can do a good job of it. It makes sense that I regularly check on my emails to be sure I catch any great opportunities. It makes sense that I join support groups for bloggers.
Those things aren't my problem. My problem has been that I have filled every little space of time with technology of some sort. Cooking dinner? TV show on at the same time. Driving to work? Music. Out on a walk? Podcast. Lying in bed trying to sleep? Playing a game on my phone. My list could go on and on but you get it.
Any tiny little millisecond of boredom and I go straight to my phone to keep me entertained.
It has completely taken over my mind. When I sit and try and think out a blog post it feels like my thoughts are a swirling soup of baby food. It feels too hard to concentrate, so I browse Pinterest or Facebook for some inspiration.
Problem is it doesn't inspire me. It might give me an idea for a blog post, but when it comes time to actually write the thing, the cycle starts again and it feels too hard. So I go back to the web for more inspiration.
This realization has done wonders for my mental clarity. I didn't realize how exhausting it was to fill my life with screen time.
I have actually found that there have been studies* done on this as well. Boredom is proven to actually boost creativity. They suggest that boredom motivates people to approach new and rewarding activities. If you are filling your mind with easy, random stimulation your brain doesn't feel any need to think about new things.
By engaging in uninteresting activities before creative ones, we may be able to elicit the type of thinking we need to write original blog posts, create thought-provoking art, find innovative solutions, think up new, fabulous ideas and much more.
"Creativity is intelligence having fun"
~ Albert Einstein
Do you ever struggle with feeling like your creativity has disappeared? Do you find yourself over stimulating your mind and never allowing yourself to get bored?
Let's give ourselves some time this week to let our minds wander to new, fantastic ideas and promote creativity in our lives.
Turiano, N. A., Spiro III, A., & Mroczek, D. K. (2012). Openness to experience and mortality in men: Analysis of traits and facets. Journal of Aging and Health, 25, 654-672.
Does Being Bored Make Us More Creative?. Sandi Mann & Rebekah Cadman, Creativity Research Journal Vol. 26 , Iss. 2,2014