Become more creative

I read a great article today. Kieran O’Hare profiles writer-creator Craig Mod, on

Apart from it whisking me away from my desk, to thoughts of walking for a month in Japan, a couple of things made me pay attention:

  1. turning off all devices and inputs (when out for a walk in Mod’s case) helps you tune into your surroundings and thoughts
  2. have a creative goal that doesn’t see you sidetracked by teaching other people how to do something else

On turning off devices – I’m always plugged in when I’m on my own. I have the radio on or Audible or Spotify, listening to books and podcasts. Exercising, walking, driving, folding laundry, it’s my default mode.

I’ve learnt so much over the years, but there are some obvious downsides:

  • It occasionally gets too much and I experience sensory overload, aargh!
  • Listening is a binge-worthy activity. It’s easy to get carried away with interesting things. So easy that you don’t even stop to take notes, let alone do anything with the information. You become an info junkie, but retain a very small percentage of what you consume as you move from one chapter to the next, one episode to the next
  • When you only consume input, you don’t produce any output. There’s no room for creativity, for processing your thoughts. You don’t convert the raw material into finished goods.

On staying true to your creative goal – the article made me laugh. Becoming a meta version of yourself. I noticed recently that most of the people I follow on Medium (who are great writers by the way), write about writing and sell courses to others about how to make money from writing.

It feels a bit too much like a pyramid scheme to me. Pay to learn how to write so that you can make money online, when the real money to be made, is by teaching others how to write online.

But I like Mod’s angle. His membership programme isn’t to teach people about running a membership programme, or any of the other things he’s established. It’s about helping other people achieve the thing he’s most interested in himself. His ‘horizon goal’. Creating books.

If I applied that to my own situation, I can see a future where I might teach people how to give great speeches, for example. As that’s my own goal. But that’s a way off yet.

For now, this was a great article to read, and there’s lots more in there to drill into: productivity tools, newsletters, pizza toast (?!)

I highly recommend it. Enjoy!

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