Blogging and the Creative Process

I get quite a few questions that go something like this: "How does a busy fellow like you find the time to blog?"

To which I answer,  "Blogito ergo sum" — "I blog therefore I am (creative)". 

I try to make blogging an integral part of my creative process.  I find it a great way to slosh thoughts across the right and left sides of my brain and, on occasion, come up with something interesting.  This humble blog of mine is a sandbox, a place for creating quick idea probes which I launch on a whim.  Blogging is a nice way to be fast, cheap and out of control.

It does take time, but a lot less than you might think.  Along with flying planes and racing cars, being a writer was something I aspired to even as young boy.  Actually, books, writing, and literature have always played a more central role in my life than even cars (and if you know me, that’s really saying something).  However, though I wanted to be a writer, I never thought I had the time to be a good writer.  But while perusing William Gibson’s blog early last year, I came to understand why it might be worthwhile to start doing even a little bit of writing here and there.  And how little time it might take.  Says Gibson:

I suspect I have spent just about exactly as much time actually writing as the average person my age has spent watching television, and that, as much as anything, may be the real secret here.

That’s a remarkable thought, isn’t it?  And so I took Gibson’s word for it and started writing this blog.  I don’t know what I dropped in my schedule to make it happen, for I wasn’t a big watcher of TV, nor did I feel like I had oodles of empty time sitting around waiting to be used.  But still, I find the time and by finding it, I make the time.

I honestly believe that blogging has made me more creative, if creativity can be defined the ability to see patterns and make connections.  Forcing myself to write on an almost daily basis about foggy topics has been like an injection of neural lube for my design-thinking brain cells.  I may not actually be creative, but for sure my fingers are more limber and thoughts flow more easily through to full expression — much as they did musically back when I used to play my saxophone at least three hours a day.

Perhaps blogging is a perfect form of structured procrastination, a term coined by Stanford professor John Perry.  Structured procrastination, Perry says, is a way to ".. be motivated to do difficult, timely and important tasks, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important."  Think about that.  Instead of procrastinating and not getting anything done, why not procrastinate as a way to get some other cool stuff done while you’re mustering the will to tackle that big gnarly thing slouched over in the corner?  Per Perry’s definition, blogging certainly qualifies as difficult, and if you believe that at least one soul, somewhere, somehow is hoping that you’ll post something soon, well, then you’ve got the timely and important part there, too.

Blogging isn’t the most important or urgent or important/urgent thing I do.  Far from it. But it is a way of getting to good stuff that makes the really important stuff I do work better. 

2 thoughts on “Blogging and the Creative Process

  1. I know this is a very ancient post, but I have just jumped onto it when looking for other kind of material, and found this nice post about the “blogging thing”.
    Funny to check that, when the word “procastinate” was adopted by the Spanish language (procastinar, procastinador, etc…), it does not have the same sense. We use it in a pejorative sense: why to do this today if you can leave it for tomorrow? You can always find a good excuse no to do what you must do.
    I must say I love this word: the moment I learned it I could apply it to many people I know 😉
    Thanks for this post, Diego.

  2. I want to apologise, because I wrote “procastinar” instead of “procrastinar” which is the correct way to spell it. Sorry.

Comments are closed.