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Creating over consuming

So I’ve been thinking about what inspires me on my path ahead, and I’ve found it’s the balance between creating and consuming.

In the past, I’ve had trouble with consuming social media, I could be on my screen for around four hours every day, if I let myself go. It’s addicting to just scroll through ideas and pictures, it’s easy and it’s a great inspiration. Unfortunately though, I find myself spending too much time on distractions and then I end up losing my creative time. I know that I want to spend more time devoted to the creative process, which requires mental and spiritual space.

Snohomish, WA

I’ve noticed my quality of life improve when shifting from consuming to creating. My focus is engaged and my imagination active. I notice the world around me with fresh eyes. When I take this time away from my phone or TV, I feel clear headed and can synthesize new ideas in more meaningful ways. Observation is possible, and I'm not mentally cluttered to a point where I don't notice novelties. This concept of creating over consuming is a practice I learned is called “Deep Work,” a term coined by Cal Newport, an American author.

“Efforts to deepen your focus will struggle if you don’t simultaneously wean your mind from a dependence on distraction.”

Cal Newport

When I set aside time for this deep work state, I hope to explore topics such as the relationship between the ecosystem and our health, our subconscious, factors that contribute to a fulfilling life, and tools for developing the spiritual muscle. I would love to make art about self-actualization or individuation through nature! This pursuit of living a full life has lit such a fire in my heart, and I feel it can be dimmed by consuming hours of Instagram reels day after day. I’ve been improving at limiting my screen time and have been taking more trips out to nature to get away from a WiFi signal! I also set long timers for my work sessions and set my phone on airplane mode while busy to remove any distractions!

Camano island, WA, drawing for a geocache 3/19/21

“Less mental clutter means more mental resources available for deep thinking.”

Cal Newport

Are there any ideas and projects you’ve been dreaming of focusing on and could pick up with the knowledge of deep work ? Or if you already engage in deep work, what are some tools or structures you use to help you achieve that ? I love hearing about people's passions and projects!

Thanks so much for keeping up with TAOGOI, we are so grateful to have you with us!!

-Abby Folsom

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Thought I might share a little bit of where Abby's at in the artist's adventure as I've been devoting much of my free time to career planning and next move dreaming once I complete my college degree.

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