If you’re feeling that your creative well is a bit dry these days, it could be that you’re spending too much time at the public watering hole.
In Rome, I fell in love with all the fountains in every piazza and corner of the city. I enjoyed imagining ancient Rome, seeing neighbors gathered at the fountain in the square to draw their daily water. There, they’d also gossip, exchange news, and enjoy community life.
I think of the Internet as our global village, and Facebook as our ‘local’ watering hole. On Facebook, we share our news, connect with others, and relish a sense of community with like-minded people. It’s wonderful for both personal and professional reasons.
But back to the fountains in Rome. Picture it: people come, draw water, connect, then go home to their work. Now imagine some of those people spending all day at the watering hole. Or going to the fountain every ten minutes to get a cup of water instead of going once or twice and drawing a bucket of water from the fountain.
Observing those people, you’d think, “Gosh, how inefficient.” Or, worse, “Get a life!”
It’s the same for Facebook and Twitter. Amazing fonts of inspiration and connection. But if you’re there all day, what else are you doing? There’s a lot of talk these days about these online resources consuming all our time. About how they distract us and dilute our creativity. But we go there ourselves. We make the choice about how much time we spend hanging out at the fountain.
I'm as guilty as anyone who spends too much time in the public space. But I notice when I am engaged in a creative project, the fountain is less appealing. Focus and time with my work feels better.
Take charge of your fountain time. Don’t be one of those people spending all your time in the community space and not enough time in your own creative space.
P.S. Your blog time is not public fountain time. It’s more like, “Come hang out at my pool…or groovy pad or studio…” In case you’re torn between time spent on your blog and time spent on Facebook, check out Alyson’s recent article on why you should not be spending all your creative energy on Facebook.
What about you? Do you find yourself hanging around the public fountain too much these days? What helps you balance your community time with time creating? Tell us here.