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Input and Outputs

Austin Kleon is unusually good at writing about the creative process. I've been reading his blog for years. He periodically writes about the relationship between ideas, information and inspiration that we take in, and creative output. Like this quote from Brian Eno

'What I really like doing is what I call Import and Export. I like taking ideas from one place and putting them into another place and seeing what happens when you do that.'

For me, blogging is somewhat like this. If I'm reading, watching, listening to a lot of things that are inspiring or challenging me my brain seems to want to make sense of it by making connections and writing about it. I wouldn't say that I'm uniquely creative, but this is a simple equation – the more interesting stuff goes in, the more interesting stuff comes out. Like 'Strummer's Law' – no input, no output.

Sometimes – often when work or travel is taking over – I find that a decline in inputs leads to a decline in outputs. Which is something that frustrates me. Outputs feel like moving forwards. Consuming without expressing or noting feels like I'm missing something. But frustrations aside, I know that it's important to fit it in to the margins however infrequently that is. 

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