Do you blog, or have a newsletter? Or perhaps you use Twitter or Facebook? I bet at one time of another you’ve wondered what to write about.
I know I often feel stumped by what to write about here on the Thriving Creative. Sometimes I have an abundance of ideas and I have to scribble ideas down to avoid forgetting them. Other times when it comes time to write my mind is as arid as the desert.
One obvious place for ideas is to look at what other people in your field are talking about. You can often be inspired to put your take on current topics. However, I think there are limits to this as it results in everyone blogging, tweeting, and posting about the same topics.
While you want to be keenly following your industry and the key players in it, don’t operate with blinders on. Tunnel vision prevents us from opportunities to cross-pollinate our careers by gaining insight and understanding from completely unrelated fields.
If you are an actor and you are following the same directors, theatres and actors as all of your colleagues, then you severely limit your opportunities to stumble across something new and unique. This narrows your pool of inspiration to the same pool as everyone else. This is a formula for stagnation.
Like the snake who eats his own tail, constantly feeding only from within your immediate area is going to give you diminishing returns.
So keep abreast of your field, but also look at other areas – the more random the better. That’s where you are going to find new ideas, fresh inspirations and new contacts which will energise your creative practice and allow fresh air to enter your professional life.
If everyone in your industry are fishing from the same stream, it’s soon going to run out of fish. You want to look for different ponds and streams from which to fish.
Think like the great explorers of history who sailed off to discover unchartered lands.
When they came back from their adventures they brought treasures, artefacts and stories with them, which they shared with their public at home.
So too should you bring stories, pictures, and ideas back from your explorations into different subject areas to share with your network.
Explain to them how an idea from sociology gives you insight into your dance. Tell how a Chinese street singer has inspired your latest musical track or how your next theatre piece draws upon the latest breakthroughs in science.
This will enliven both your creative practice and your discourse on social networks.
It will also make you a far more interesting person.
So quit fishing in the same ponds as everyone you know. Go discover something unique. What is no one talking about? That’s where you’ll find the gold dust.
When you do find something good, be sure to share it with me, okay?