As creatives our creativity is something that needs feeding. Without new inputs it can go dry or stale. For having consistency and going into new places we need creative inputs.
For our creativity to be consistent or to go new places, we need creative input.
An Array of Inputs
Everyday life provides all sorts of inputs that are we absorb. Some we have more control over than others.
A partial list includes:
- Films, videos, tv series and shows
- Books, blogs, news articles, graphic novels
- All types of social media
- Music, radio, audiobooks, podcasts
- Conversations with friends, family and co-workers
- The places we go, whether local or further afield
- Time with friends and family
- Work, hobbies and sport
Not All Inputs Are Equal
While "life" would have been a simpler thing to list, our inputs vary in quality and use. Rereading my favourite books is comforting but it won't push me.
Sometimes you'll want or need the easy stuff. Othertimes a mix. But everything that goes in finds a home somewhere in our mental space
All our inputs give us ideas but some give more than others. Thinking about them lets us identify which ones we use for comfort, which excite us and which we try to tune out.
And where much of the new "creative stuff" arrives from.
Improving Those "Input Channels"
Looking at the channels also shows which ones you can control. The ones which feed our creativity and are easy to change are the ones we're after.
It might be easier to change podcasts you listen to then the place you work with or things watched with a partner.
Think about some of the messages you want and what you want to learn about. Take advantage of other cultures and languages if you have access to them.
Trying new inputs is also important. Maybe let Amazon or Netflix choose you but try the odd circuit breaker or random thing. The thing outside the normal experience.
What to fill them with is an article in itself.
My Creative Inputs
This year I had hoped my inputs would centre around travel, but lockdown has happened instead.
So my first input is podcasts and audiobooks. I listen in English and Spanish to shows on history, finance, Europe, wellbeing and whatever else I find. Keeping me sane every day.
My second input is physical books. As my work is computer based I try to switch off screens in the evening. In recent months I've found books from family, charity shops and I'm trying more short stories.
My bonus one was during the first lockdown. Due to a fear of being sucked into 7 back-to-back seasons of a series instead of working I avoid watching shows. But in March I found myself living in a flat with my Hungarian friend and we watched a few series together. Bonus One. The Peaky Blinders, The Last Kingdom, Some random films and some Studio Ghibli stuff entered my creative mass.
What has been your most surprising input in the last 2 years?