I often think about creativity in terms of input and output.  For me, creating, whether it’s in the form of decorating, drawing, writing, cooking, speaking, organizing, building, etc. makes me feel excited yet it also expends energy and brain power, while sitting back, listening, reading and absorbing things around me always inspires me, restores creative energy and makes me feel ready to go again.

 

 

I might feel tired of the same old food we always cook at home and then get a new cookbook and am all over cooking again.  Not only am I into the new recipes, but I start to have fun with my own recipes inspired by the ones in the cookbook.  (My current obsession is Jerusalem btw 😉

{this weekend we made mini turkey-zucchini burgers- yay for leftovers!}

There needs to be the right balance of input and output and it’s different for everyone.  I’m not exactly sure what my necessary output/input proportion is yet, but I can feel myself always trying to get more “input” (time spent absorbing, listening/ reading and taking in) time in because because in my line of work, I’m pretty much always “outputting.”  When I’m “off” (of work) I feel like I need to get refilled.  My design business itself operates on output, but in addition, I write the blog which is almost all output, design textiles, do lots of of photoshoots (which is some seriously crazy output!!) and am now working on the book, which is even more “output.”  I think we naturally try to balance ourselves out so it makes sense to try to figure out what it is we need to feel balanced.

 

(it takes so much energy to get a room “photoready” … and that’s before you add in a pup!;)

For instance, I’ve figured out that when I have too many full weekends in a row (even when filled with fun things) between workweeks, I begin to feel depleted.  Although most people might describe me as outgoing and sociable, I still need my “alone” time to get re-energized.  (When we took the Myers-Briggs Personality Test in a communication class in college, I was an “ENFP” but just barely an “e” (extrovert) over an “i” introvert…  I think the older I get, the closer to an “I” I probably get, as nowadays that I’m “outputting” so much more for work –oops than I did when I was a college student!! 😉 ;)–  time alone with my family- hanging out, playing eating, reading etc-  refreshes me and helps me feel ready for work.  

And the same applies to taking in…  travelling, learning, seeing new things, reading about them, watching them, and looking at others’ work & creations are all forms of input and I feel re-energized and excited to get to work afterwards.  It’s that balance that’s key.  (You know that “I’m back” feeling after a relaxing vacation??  It’s awesome…  but I would go crazy if my whole life were a vacation…  Don’t get me wrong, I could go for longer vacations, 😉 😉 but if my whole life was one, I’d feel unchallenged, antsy and useless.)

 


{me & my boys}

I haven’t quite personally assessed other areas the way I’ve assessed the social time/ alone time thing, but I’m going to start thinking about it more.  I want to make that there’s enough coming in, so that what’s going out is interesting & fresh instead of old & tired.   Have you thought at all about this?  Any idea what your ideal input-output ratio is??

I’m headed out today to shoot projects 4 & 5 for the book- wish me luck!!