Why I like my unsettled life and have no hope of finding balance

Posted on May 6th, 2015

We keep seeking balance. But it’s a false goal. We have it wrong. For one thing, it’s just not possible. I’ve written about this before – how life balance is elusive.

balance

Image by Katia Bellomo

But more than this, balance or settledness, doesn’t see us grow. We grow and become better, and have a better life, from the very act of tending to our imbalance and unsettledness.

Get this bit of quote into you:

“People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ll also quote poet David Whyte, who I’ve referred to a bit lately (catch up here and here). As a fun aside, David is in Australia next weekend and I was invited as a guest…so I managed to wrangle a few double passes for you guys here on this blog. Head to my Facebook page for details. Anyway. The erudite Whyte points out that Read more

The best advice to creatives ever: you have to go through a volume of work

Posted on March 10th, 2015

When I lived in Byron (writing my first book) I used to drive to my friend Annie’s house in the hills for dinner on Sundays. I timed it to listen to Ira Glass on This American Life. I’d time it so I could pull over in the really mind-expanding, precipace-thinking bits. Not listened to one of Ira’s meandering, whimsical interviews about life? You should.

Image via Skipholt.

Image via Skipholt.

I love Ira. And I don’t think I’ve come across better advice than this for anyone who hurts, frets, doubts doing creative work. Which is most of us, really.

The gist is this:

1. Creatives know they have taste. They know they have a vision, an idea that could be special. It burns in them.

2. But when they start out in their respective realms, their output doesn’t match up to their vision. There’s a gap. They know their work isn’t special enough… and so…

3. Creatives hurt, fret and doubt… and then often quit.

But Ira shares:

4. This is normal.

5. The most important thing you can do is… more work. The only way to close the gap is to “go through a volume of work”. Read more

Being creative can be a lonely path

Posted on July 18th, 2014

I loved reading about this new study into the connection between creativity and mental illness. It effectively found that creativity has little correlation with genius. While there is a connection with a highish IQ  (the “average” creative has an IQ around 120), the real nexus is with a touch of madness. But more specifically (and interestingly), a particular ability to see things others don’t.

Image via Favim.com

Image via Favim.com

The author’s final conclusion on the Thing that denotes creativity is this:

“Creative people are better at recognising relationships, making associations and connections, and seeing things in an original way—seeing things that others cannot see.”

He goes on to say that this ability to see things differently can be a very lonely experience…which, in turn, he feels, explains the mental illness nexus.

A quote from his own writing on the subject:

“When you work at the cutting edge, you are likely to bleed.”

It would appear mad to go to the cutting edge if it were only painful. But here comes my favourite bit, the bit that made me Read more