Sometimes as I sit in front of my screen – the ideas don’t seem to be flowing. I get stuck. Yes I do spend a lot of time getting up and making cups of tea or a pot of coffee. It gets the circulation going and keeps me awake. But from time to time I find there is much value in getting completely out of my comfort zone and out of my normal routines to get fresh stimulus. Throwing yourself off balance can pay huge dividends.
Apart from the more ambitious and wonderful trips that happen a couple of times a year, even in the short term there are some shake-me-ups that have been totally reinvigorating.
Is it playing hooky to get out of the office during the week? Yes but no. Of course as a creative pro you can sort of justify the museums and galleries and movies and official networking events as being “on mission,” and they all have undoubted value; but there is a frisson from escaping without permission and doing something that has no clear immediate value. Go AWOL for a few hours and you will come back with new ideas and better energy. I have ridden the subway to a random station in the Bronx and walked the streets I found myself in – discovering once again the infinite variety contained in NYC. I have ridden the Staten Island ferry. I have walked deep into parts of Brooklyn – where I went I am still not sure. I have hopped in the car and driven upstate without a map, taking ever smaller roads to find who knows what.
All of these excursions – they don’t happen that often but they are treasured – set me off balance and stimulated some new ideas. So don’t get stuck in the rat channel and just keep slogging – get out of your comfort zone from time to time to get fresh stimulus – discover somewhere new – get unbalanced – you will be glad you did.