Contemplation and Stimulation

I can’t remember where I first saw that for creativity you need both alone-time and stimulation-time. (Actually, that’s not a bad idea for everyone to have both in their life.) If I want to write comics, I need quiet time alone to draw and work with wording. If I want to just write, I need time alone to think.

I also need stimulation. I need to be doing interesting things and talking to interesting people. My ideas come from interaction with the outside world. More importantly, I need diverse inputs. I have to be interacting with lots of different people/things.

I don’t feel as if I’m getting enough time for either of these things, although I am getting better dosages of the latter.

As much as I disliked college, it was an excellent environment for fostering creativity. It gave me heavy dosages of both things. I had ample free time, which I had enough free time to do my creative things. Seriously, so much free time. I wasn’t in class 8 hours a day; I had no commute; I didn’t need decompression time. Even with homework, more time belonged to me. College also provided a lot of interesting fodder for comic material. I interacted with a larger, more diverse group of people. The people I knew ranged across a broad spectrum from acquaintance to friend. Being forced to take new classes meant I met new people every semester. New classes also meant I was being exposed to new information.

Last year, I went on a delete binge. I tried to remove inputs from my life. I stopped reading blogs, comics, newspapers; I watch less TV. Overall, I don’t know if it’s made my life any better, or made me any happier. I don’t know if the answer is “less.” When it comes to TV, I’m glad that I don’t just sit there and channel surf anymore. However, I like watching TV and I feel like TV is good for me insofar as good storytelling is good for me. I want to watch a variety of shows. Getting lots of inputs is good for creativity.

I guess perhaps I need to be more discriminating when it comes to these inputs. Less news. Less abstraction. More stories. More conversations.

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