Daily Creativity: Part 3 – A Slow Experiment

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“The notebook is the place where you figure out what’s going on inside you or what’s rattling around. The keyboard is the place that you go to tell people about it.” — Austin Kleon in Episode 5 of Hurry Slowly

Are you a pencil and paper kinda person? Or someone who gets their creative juices flowing when they’re tapping away on their computer? Do you like old-school vinyl or are you a digital music fiend? Or, perhaps, like most people, a little of both?

In today’s episode Ben and I dive deep in to a topic I’ve been excited about since beginning the experiment: analog vs digital – which is better for creativity?

Before we get in to it, Ben and I talk about our experiences over the past week, as we’re now more than halfway through this month’s daily creativity Slow Experiment, and this week has brought some really interesting lessons for me personally, as well as what feels like a huge shift in the way I’m solving problems. I’ve found myself focusing more on the process rather than the output, my empathy has stepped up another level as I’ve been able to view things from different perspectives (particularly those of my kids) and excitingly, questions I’ve been pondering for months suddenly have clear solutions. This creativity thing has bigger benefits than I’d imagined!

If you’re subscribed to the Slow Post you may know that Ben’s challenge this week was to do something creative for himself, without an audience, and in this poggie he shares how he’s played around with skiing switch (backwards) and reflects on the joy of truly sucking at something.

Ben also identifies some of the different ways we can categorise creativity (cognitive v emotional and deliberate v spontaneous) and we share our experiences of each of these modes so far, before diving in to the big question of today’s episode:

Analog vs digital: which is better for creativity?

As a staunch advocate for pencil and paper, I’m not going to lie. I was hoping for a unanimous “analog rules” verdict in my research. It would make things so much easier! Instead what I found was that there really is no right or wrong. Our personal preference towards analog or digital is actually closely tied to how we best learn, and the truth is that everyone could probably benefit from dabbling in both means of creative expression.

We discuss handwriting, Austin Kleon’s wonderful dual-desk system, note-taking on a computer vs by hand, and the current hypothesis on why some people find creative thinking difficult to do while typing (hello, me!) and others who don’t find it tough at all (hello, Ben!) in this episode. There’s a lot of juicy ideas in here that may just help you unlock the daily creative practice, or at least begin to understand your personal tendencies towards digital or analog.

If you’re getting creative with us this week, why not try mixing it up again? If you’re always in analog-land, why not try creating using digital this week, and vice versa – if you’re a tech-head, why not try something a little more tactile?

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #slowexperiment on Instagram if you’d like to share, and stay tuned for next week’s episode all about letting go of ideas of “good” and “perfect” and getting back to creating, just for the sake of creating.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

Daily Creativity: Part 2 – A Slow Experiment

Philipp Lublasser

“This is what slow is. It’s about diving deep. It’s about asking questions, if even the answers that we find out about ourselves aren’t ones that we love.”

Welcome to the second episode of this month’s slow experiment, where Ben and I are aiming to do something creative every day throughout May.

The last week has been really interesting for both of us and in today’s poggie we dive in to the patterns we’ve seen emerging in our own creative efforts and the changes we’ve each experienced, even in such a short period of time.

So far the experiment has had a bigger impact on my headspace than I expected, as it’s begun opening me up to see more creative opportunities in my days – problem-solving, parenting, the perspective with which I view the world.

We also dig deep in to the question of who, exactly, we’re creating for. I guess another way of saying that is we’re trying to figure out our Why of creativity. Because as people who both, at least in part, work creatively in their day-to-day jobs, we’ve discovered that it’s hard to remove the idea of creating for an audience from our efforts. Thinking about the end result or the output is ingrained in our thinking, and the frustration I’ve come up against every day is that this results-oriented approach stops me from creating with complete, playful abandon.

Ben talks a lot about the value of slowing down our creative efforts, which flies in the face of today’s hustling, deadline-driven world. Very rarely are we allowed to let creativity take time. Very rarely are we encourage to let go of our need to reach a deadline, and simply allow a solution take shape over days, weeks or even years. Again, the lesson here is learning to focus more on the process and less on the output.

So in the spirit of our discoveries this week, we’re going to try and mix it up and would love you to try too. If you’ve been creating just for you, try sharing your work – it doesn’t have to be online, you can just show a loved one. Or, if you’ve been creating with an audience in mind, this week try doing something just for you. Notice if and how this impacts the process and let us know!

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #slowexperiment on Instagram if you’d like to share, and stay tuned for next week’s episode all about analog vs digital in creativity.

——

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

Daily Creativity: Part 1 – A Slow Experiment

Kris Chin

“Everyone has the ability to think creatively, to view things through a different lens, to take things from a different perspective. And that to me is creativity.”

Welcome to May, and welcome to the next Slow Experiment of 2018!

March’s nature experiment was such an incredibly transformative experience that inspired so much change not only in myself, but also in lots of our wonderful listeners, so I’m equal parts excited and nervous to share this month’s theme with you. (Though if you listened to last week’s hostful episode you will have heard us talk about it a little already).

This month we’re experimenting with daily creativity, and I’m excited to share it with you because increased creativity was one of the biggest and most surprising benefits of our nature experiment in March and I think there’s so many common elements between slow living and creative living. But I’m also nervous about it because there is often resistance when people hear the word “creativity”. And that resistance often looks like one of these:

  • “I’m not a creative person. I can’t draw or write or sculpt or knit!”
  • “I don’t have time to be creative.”
  • “I used to be creative, before life got busy/the kids were born/work took up all my free time.”

And I get it. Even as someone who writes for a living, I often don’t feel very creative. “Be creative” feels like an additional item to add to the list of things I “should” be doing in order to live a well rounded life. But the more time we spend exploring slow living and all her elements, the more I realise that creativity is vital and it also has nothing to do with arts and crafts. It’s simply about encouraging thought, mindfulness and play, and by redirecting our focus, even for just a few minutes a day, to look at things a little differently. Which really, is what slow living is all about too.

So how do you join in? The good news is there are no hard and fast rules. This is an experiment, and all we encourage you to do is aim to do some kind of creative practice every day. It can be a specific creative project, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s more about approaching life through a more creative lens, rather than having an agenda or making anything for a specific audience (more on that next week). It might mean simply approaching an everyday task like getting dressed or making dinner as a creative act, rather than a chore. Or it might mean writing, sculpting, knitting, singing – whatever it is, it doesn’t have to look the same every day, it just has to happen.

Which brings me to the other side of resistance: time.

If you feel like you don’t have time to be creative, I’d recommend doing a brief audit of your daily inputs (e.g. social media, news websites, podcasts etc) and asking yourself if they fuel creativity or not. Then pick one, and swap out the time you’d normally spend doing it with a form of creative output for the month, and see how you go.

It doesn’t need to be hard or exciting or Instagrammable, honestly. Just creative. And if you’re still stuck for ideas there are some out-of-the-box suggestions on this month’s downloadable PDF, which you can find here.

So how will you flex your creative muscle? We can’t wait to see – if you’re playing along and feel like sharing, don’t forget to use the hashtag #slowexperiment on Instagram. And in the meantime, enjoy your creative play!

——

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

Slow travel, fast kids and making counter-cultural choices

“Slow living is kind of this weird duality of being prepared, organised, systems in place, knowing what’s coming, managing expectations, and being flexible and fluid and understanding that life happens.”

The hostful is back, baby, and this one is big. We’ve got a personal and travel update, a heap of excellent listener questions, and we reveal the new Slow Experiment for May!

It’s been a while since we sat down and answered listener questions, and it feels like something of a homecoming. Your questions never fail to inspire me, and I often find myself thinking about them for days and weeks after. This episode is no different as we talk a lot about flexibility versus rigidity, spontaneity versus organisation, and expectations versus reality, not only in answer to your questions, but also as we do a deep dive on what the past few months have taught us (some of it has been rather uncomfortable, if I’m being honest).

On a similarly uncomfortable note, the North American release of SLOW is fast approaching, and with the official release date being July 10 and pre-orders now available, it’s feeling very real. As Ben and I discuss early in today’s episode, plans for tour events are coming together and I can’t wait to share them, but we’re also going to need your help. A cross-country book tour is no joke and if there’s any possible way you think you might be able to help – venues, media, logistics, bulk food, grocery and restaurant recommendations (seriously!), must-see stops along the way – let us know via email. One thing I’ve learnt about myself over the past few years is my tendency to take on all the jobs and then slowly wither under the pressure, so this is me getting honest and telling you that I can’t actually do that.

This provides a really beautiful link to some of the questions we answer in today’s episode, as a number of them revolve around the theme of expectation – both our own expectations of what we believe life “should” look like and the expectations we feel from external influences such as friends, family, social media, marketing, advertising etc.

A number of the questions ask specifically about slow living with young kids:

  • How is it possible to live slow when kids are fast and noisy and endlessly curious and messy?
  • Is there a way to extricate yourself from the busy-ness of young kids (activities, birthday parties, etc) without upsetting people?
  • How can slow living apply to families with one or more kids who have additional needs?

Then there are some questions that relate specifically to slow travel:

  • How did we know it was time to pull the trigger on our trip? What signs were there to show that we were ready for a huge change?
  • How are we managing the day-to-day of slow travel? What does that look like?
  • What has surprised, challenged or delighted us most about our trip so far?

Peppered throughout the entire episode is the theme of going against the norm, or making counter-cultural choices in the face of resistance. I think this is at the heart of all of slow living, whether you’re making changes at home with young kids attached to your knees, if you’re travelling the world, both, or somewhere entirely different.

Ben and I talk about the idea of living against the grain, the emotions it has brought up for both of us, the fears it awakens and the rebellious joy it brings too. There is something so liberating about removing the blinkers from the ‘shoulds’ of life, asking the big questions and then living in alignment with the answers, but I also understand why it is so scary. It’s my hope that talking about the ups and downs makes it more accessible and realistic, rather than some unattainable, romanticised version of life that nothing will live up to. It’s hard work to live against the grain, swimming against the flow, but man is it worthwhile.

Towards the end of the episode we also reveal the May Slow Experiment, which is all about daily creativity. If you listened to the March experiment you may have heard us talk about the impact of time in nature on our creativity (we spoke about it a lot in Episode 5 of the experiment). Following our nose, this seemed like the most obvious continuation of our experiments and we’re both really excited to see where it leads us. to As always, we want to keep the experiment flexible and accessible to as many people as possible, so the rules as such are very simple. We’re committing to an act of creativity every day in May, and we’d love you to play along too. That’s it.

Now, for those of you thinking you lack the basic creativity required to take part in this experiment, I’d encourage you to look outside the box when you consider what ‘creativity’ entails. It can be the traditional arts and crafts, writing or knitting, of course, but the way we view the world, the way we solve a problem, get dressed in the morning or choose to view things from a different angle can all be acts of creativity too.

To get you started, and to keep you motivated for the month of May, I’ve created a simple PDF for you to download and print out, and it has some suggestions on creative acts you can try throughout the month, as well as a colouring chart for every day you create.

Personally I’m excited to see what, if any, impact a daily creative practice is going to have on my:

  • problem solving
  • mindfulness
  • paying attention to tiny details
  • focus
  • creativity in work

and I can’t wait to hear the impact it has for you too. We’re getting started on May 1, and as always, will be using #slowexperiment over on Instagram to talk about our progress. Feel free to join in and share your experiment too!

In the meantime, enjoy!

——

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

Jocelyn Glei on fast tech and slow work

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When it comes to the fast pace of modern life, one of the biggest culprits is undoubtedly tech. Research now suggests that, in America, phone owners spend as much as five hours per day on their mobiles (FIVE HOURS) with just over half of that spent on social media apps.

It’s little wonder then, that we don’t feel like we have enough time for things like creativity, relaxation, mindfulness, downtime, meditation or reading. In fact, by far the most common excuse I hear from people who want to slow down but can’t, is, “I don’t have time.”

Life is undoubtedly busy, and technology is here to stay, but in today’s episode of the poggie I chat with Jocelyn Glei about how we can harness slow living and use it to better navigate our hyper-connected, fast-paced world without having to opt out completely.

Jocelyn created and hosts Hurry Slowly, a podcast that explores the intersection of modern life, slow living, work and creativity, and many of her guests work in the extra-speedy realms of tech and entrepreneurialism, so their conversations often take place through the lens of work. Because of this, Jocelyn and her guests often discuss the question so many people are asking, “how can I work in my fast-paced industry but still live a slow life?” And what’s more, they offer advice and really accessible insights in to how to do so.

We talk about how best to manage email and stop it from becoming all-consuming, as well as the pleasure and power of introducing more analog into your life (pencil and paper forever!)

We dive deeply into the relationship between mindfulness and creativity, and the importance of creating space for both rest and boredom. Here’s a hint: that’s very closely related to our upcoming May experiment, but don’t tell anyone.

I also ask Jocelyn about the connections between technology, risk-taking and meaningful human connection, and the way tech use impacts the way we form memories. It’s a really juicy conversation, full of insight and interesting ideas, and I’ve found myself thinking really deeply on this conversation over the past few weeks.

I’d also definitely recommend you check out Jocelyn’s podcast, Hurry Slowly. She is a wonderful interviewer and asks deep questions of her guests. Do yourself a kindness and check it out!

Enjoy.

——

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!