When I turned to the last month of my Get To Work book, wondering what the inspiring graphic would be, I found my initial reaction to it quite surprising.
It read: ‘Create more than you consume’
And it touched something in my brain, a memory or feeling, that I’ve been coming back to a lot recently. This past year – aside from my obvious ruminating which comes with my anxiety – I haven’t been able to stop mulling over why I just don’t seem to feel like I’m creating enough.
Everyone around me was making and creating and innovating and dreaming at an exponential rate (it seems) and all I could keep doing was going back through all those well worn paths of thought and habits; sitting on Pinterest and mooning over illustrators who I admired, taking in how they created their images, their use of colour, of contrast, or sitting on Instagram and just letting myself be overwhelmingly impressed and jealous, in equal amounts, at other designer makers who just seemed to be creating.
But this little take away card, found in the back of my diary, felt like the answer to all my problems: Create more than you consume.
Too much time had I spent steeping myself in the world of others, trying to understand their work, to be inspired by it, to be immersed in it, and not enough time was given to creating my own work. Time given to sit, be creative, let ideas flow, and to play.
My CBT sessions have highlighted to me my absolute need to control and perfect, and how sometimes that stops me from doing anything because I’m just too scared to start and for it to be wrong. But by taking that path of least resistance, the one where you sit and observe from the sidelines, you don’t allow yourself to be apart of the world and will forever just be a creative wallflower.
Switch off your phone for an hour, put on your favourite music, and just let yourself be in a moment to create and to not be judgemental of it. Mentally turn off the mental chatter as you turn off your notifications and watch something magical happen.
Perhaps in this one small change there can be inspiration to be free in other aspects of our lives. Whether that is in our relationships, our beliefs or with some old and worn habits, we can feel more accomplished when we stay mindful in the present activity and just be with it.