Hello and welcome to the The Spark & The Art creativity podcast. Thank you for subscribing to our weekly podcast, where we alternate between interviews with creative folks from all different career levels and insight and inspiration episodes. All with the intention you’ll get what you need to get your creative projects started and, more importantly, finished.
I’m your host Tucker and this week is about taking in and letting out.
I heard a quote earlier this week and I can’t find it anywhere online so I don’t know who said it or in what context but I’m gonna talk about it anyway because it got me thinking.
The quote was something along the lines of you can’t both breath in or out. Basically meaning you can’t do only one. You can’t only breath in. Your lungs can only hold so much. The oxygen is all absorbed and gets stale. Your lungs ache and eventually you breath out.
You can’t just breath out. Your lungs empty. You wheeze and strain and a pressure builds behind your nose. Eventually, you breath in.
If you breathed like that all the time it would not be healthy. I don’t know what would happen to you but I can’t imagine it would be comfortable. It would also be difficult to have a conversation.
This is the creative flow as well. Taking is important. Reading books and watching movies and TV shows and looking at other people’s work is all very important to give you stuff to think about. Stuff for your creative sub conscience to chew and mull over. But Taking in and taking in and taking in with no outlet for release means all of that is just bouncing around inside you with nowhere to go. Just piling up on top of itself like glacier ice.
But creating and creating and creating isn’t good either. Eventually you get to the bottom of your ideas and you just start repeating and repeating and doing the same thing again. This is when creativity can feel stale. It can feel Like you aren’t progressing. Part of this is just the normal plateau skill building reaches on its way to mastery. But part of it is because there is nothing new in the old idea box.
This is similar to the breath out till it hurts then breath in till you pass out scenario we started with. Some folks like that feeling of being empty and needing to refill. Some projects just demand it. You’ll hear actors or film directors talk about needing time away after a long stretch of work because they are just depleted.
I’m currently at the end of a long taking in session. This last year has been very much about new music and tv shows with the wife. But my projects have been put on the sidelines. The only constant thing I’ve created is this podcast. And even that is a lot of taking in because I do at least two creative interviews per month. I did do a couple live performances in the past year and those were great but I really feel like I’d like to do more this year. Recently wrote a song (something else I haven’t done in about a year) and I can feel the need to make things again to create. To finish.
Previously when I was in creative modes I would avoid television and movie time. I would focus solely on the projects I was getting done. But this last year I’ve been enjoying TV time with kids and the wife. In previous years I was all about the biographies and creativity and business books. This las year I’ve returned to fiction with a leaning to science-fiction and fantasy and found it invigorating.
So I think I’m about to start breathing out again. But I’m going to be conscious of taking measured, regular, breathes rather than using myself all up and needing time to recover like I did this last year.
Here’s where you get to do some thinking: (man, when was the last time I had this section in an episode?)
Where are you in your cycle? Are you taking in? Or letting out?
If you are creating and putting out stuff are you still feeling like you got juice left? Or do you feel like you are running down?
If you are taking in - Are you starting to see where your breathing out might lead? Do you find yourself thinking about one book idea more than others? Do you find that themes and ideas in thing you are watching and reading and listening to often remind you of one of your ideas? If so it may be time to start getting to your work again. It may be time to start your habit and ritual and promise yourself some time and keep your date.
I’m always available on twitter @sparkartpodcast. I had some nice feedback from last week’s request for information about if you support other podcasts or creators through Patreon and what kind of things you look for in return. I’d like to outsource some of the work for the podcast (taking notes and editing) and cover the hosting costs. If you’d like to volunteer to help out with keeping the show going reach out to me and we’ll see what we can do. You know I’ve always said I’m good at asking for help when I need it but I realize I’m not so good at asking for help when I still think I can do it all my self. That last bit about 'if you think you’d like to volunteer’ was really hard to write for some reason. Because really I can still do all the podcast stuff just fine. I’m not struggling but if I want to grow I need to get some sort of team going. And in order for that to happen I need to ask.
So, that’s it for this week. Keep breathing in and breathing out. And get in touch and let me know where you are in your creative cycle.
Thanks for listening and remember: you won’t get the art without the work and you won’t do the work without the spark.