Pace. Sometimes pace is hurried and we skip between beats, jump over tracks and dodge hurdles. This year I’ve been trying to make ‘space for pace’ so that I have time to think and let creativity simmer. That’s a bit of a challenge when you work and have a family of five and a puppy. Small bites of ‘slow’ have been precious. Saying no. Not rushing. Taking care.
In a few days it seems my pace is going to change and life will be going into full throttle as I travel 24,000km to spend four nights in Portland, Oregon for the World Domination Summit. You might be raising one eyebrow right about now. Yes, this World Domination Summit, otherwise known as #WDS2013 really exists (don’t be concerned…it’s a good kind of world domination!) Somehow it feels like I have been preparing for this event all year by simplifying, reducing, and offloading unnecessary maintenance – so I can be ready for some kind of wonderful. I realise I may have set my expectations a little high by aiming for wonderful. But I’m ready to immerse myself into this creative, thought shaping and potentially world changing experience.
My boss Darren Rowse will be speaking and I hope to see Chris Guilleabeau again (he spoke at our ProBlogger Training Event last year.) It would be great to finally meet Chris Brogan, Jonathan Fields, Gretchen Rubin & Danielle LaPorte, amongst others. I hope to meet people who are starting out and already trekking on their own creative adventures; photographers, bloggers, and people making a difference in their world. I’m looking forward to discovering Portland, heading on a food cart and artisan food stall tour, and dancing the night away at an 80s themed closing party on Sunday night before I fly back home. Somehow in the midst of that, I’ll still try to make space for pace, whether it’s taking a short walk, a nap, some photos, or a wander through an art gallery.
Are you going to WDS2013? What are you looking forward to? Say hi!
Here’s an excerpt about making space for pace from my weekly tiny letter. In fact this was the very first one!
“Creatives like you and me…ever notice we tend to put pressure on ourselves? Perhaps you want to write a book. Paint an amazing canvas. Start a blog. Change the world. Perhaps you just want to create your own personal work again. Whatever it is…it probably feels like an epic challenge.
So where do you start? A fabulous creative challenge? A list of inspiration? Actually..not at all. This year I’m making a start by doing less. Making space for pace. Because while the pressure-cooker of work, family, and ‘thing stuff’ might propel some of your best creative schemes...it can’t sustain. I’ve been there, done that, and so have many of my creative friends. People burn out. It’s not an effective way to be creative.
Simplify the canvas
An artist once told me that you can ruin a painting by overworking it. You need to know when to stop, so that your artwork can still tell its most dramatic story, and move onto the next piece before you lose the picture. I think we overwork our lives. We try to do everything, when we really need to do less. Most creative people I know have a tendency to be perfectionists. Do you relate? We want to do more and to do it better. I’m convinced that we are compelled to scare ourselves with new ideas. Creative people don’t need more messages telling them to produce more content, faster. Sure, there are times when you need to get that creative project done, and it can involve sleep deprivation and a noticeable absence from social functions. But what I think we need to hear more often, is a message to pace out our creativity, to put down that crayon/iPhone/camera for more than a moment and find our focus.
Ready. Set. Sleep!
Do you feel like you need to be more creative? Wherever you turn, you’ll find tweets, updates and books about creative challenges, exercising your creativity, and doing more stuff. It’s not like we don’t have enough pressure and inspiration around us to create. So what’s missing?
Maybe we need to hear a different message, so that the work we create starts to shine again. This year I am being more creative by lying down. That’s right. I’m going to spend one hour a fortnight doing nothing….by getting a massage. I’m not saying I’ll do this forever, or that massage is a solution in itself. But it’s been good for me to put some time in my diary to slow down and look after myself.
Perhaps this is an opportunity for you to assess if you have enough space for pace in your life. Are you rushing to read this email so you can get back to your inbox, your work, or your washing? Even if you think you have everything under control – maybe you can still plan to do less. Trust yourself. Your creativity will still be there when you get back.”
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