A couple months ago, we decided to start a TBM Book Club and we chose Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire. You know that feeling when you read a book that seems like it was specifically written for you? I feel that way about this book. Wired to Create explores the psychology and science behind the creative mind, exploring the ways in which creative people think and act differently.
The chapter that stood out to me most is Chapter 4, which is all about solitude and how it’s an essential part of maintaining a creative life. The blogging world is filled with networking opportunities, social media engagement, and overall just constant communication. Communication is the foundation of blogging, so that makes sense. However, I think sometimes we take for granted how helpful a little solitude can be for our well-being and our creative work. Here are three ways solitude will help boost your creativity and give you some inspiration.
1. When we engage in solitude, the brain’s imagination network is activated.
While reading this book, I realized that all of my best ideas come to me when I’m alone and free from distractions or influence from others. It turns out this is actually scientific. When we are alone, our minds are able to make creative connections that we may not have thought of otherwise.
2. Taking a break from your social life will help you focus better.
This one is pretty obvious. It’s always a good idea to sign off especially from social media, but when social media is closely connected to your creative field, it’s really hard to step away. Chapter 7 of Wired to Create is about mindfulness and it touches upon our addiction to communication. Honestly, I felt really convicted reading this chapter and then I spaced out and grabbed my phone mid-paragraph. Ha! So obviously I’m struggling. Anyway, I think solitude and mindfulness go hand in hand. Being alone and in the present moment is where we can actually dig deep and come up with exciting new ideas.
3. You’ll have more to share the next time you engage in community.
The purpose of solitude isn’t to just hide out from the world and empty our minds. In solitude, we can get inspired and collect a bunch of great insights and ideas that we can eventually share with a larger community. Exhibit A: Blogging.
…key to creativity is the balance of focus on the self and focus on others, inwardness and outwardness, deep reflection and motivated action. – Wired to Create
This list could probably go on and on, but the point is – we all need a little solitude. Whether you’re naturally introverted or extroverted, you can probably agree that quality alone time brings about a lot of creative inspiration.
Do you feel like you need times of solitude in order to focus on your creative work?
Also, any suggestions for our next TBM Book Club read are welcome!