I was walking the beach with my dog Wurly this morning, I find the beach a really sobering place, where I can escape all the things that try and get my attention, be that phones, emails, texts, social media, and most importantly real people.
I try and use this holiday season as a comma in my life, a time to pause, to gather my thoughts and reflect. It was during this short time that it hit me what I hoped to do more in 2016 and that is filter more.
I seldom spend time in forums, but I do spend quite a lot of time on social media. It's so easy with all these different places that offer news, broadcast ideas and share personal opinions (if we want it or not) to find ourselves bombarded and overwhelmed. We find ourselves reading pointless stuff or getting drawn into arguments that were we a little smarter we would avoid and before we know it we can find ourselves drained or in a head-spin, neither are good for us as creatives or human beings for that fact.
I have a lot of time for the author Clay Shirky, he has written extensively on the impact of modern communications and social media. He concludes that with the exponential increase in information hitting us from every angle that we need our filters to catch up with this information explosion.
He's right, I feel less human and less able to be a creative and for the reasons outlined above. I don't want to dumb down or be overwhelmed by stuff that I really shouldn't make space for. If creativity is the outflow of our inward condition then I know there's more I can do to improve that - I need to feed my soul with wholesome stuff in order to be the best I can be as a creative.
It is for this reason that in 2016 I'm going to try to be wiser and use this simple filter a lot more - does this activity/article/discussion help me grow?
If the answer is no then I hope I'm wise and brave enough to ignore the distractions that reduce who I could be and spend more time on the things that could help me grow in 2016.
That's the filter I hope to use most in 2016.