In today’s edition of the newsletter I have some more thoughts on creativity (it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately), a deathly book list, and, as always, some great links to peruse. Let’s get right to it.
Something I’m Thinking About: Creativity as a Form of Escapism
Over the weekend I started reading Quincy Jones’ 12 Notes: On Life and Creativity, which is a short self-help book of lessons gleaned from his eight legendary decades playing and producing music.
Early in the book, Jones talks about how his love for music started as escapism. His upbringing was traumatic, to say the least, and music provided a distraction as well as an outlet for all that youthful, latent energy.
Creativity as a form of escapism. A light bulb clicked on for me.
Though it’s not an exact correlation, it led me to think about the idea of me time. In our screen-filled modern era, me time — which is a version of escapism — has come to mean consumption. We scroll social media, we binge something on Netflix, we grab a novel . . . as a way to just get the heck out of real life for a bit.
I’m as guilty of this as anyone. Books and stories are my re-energizer and my go-to escapist activity.
But what if the best way to escape for a few moments each day is actually to lean into our creative side? To challenge ourselves, but in a different form than our workaday routine?
Using any kind of screen as a means of escape rarely feels good. We know this; we can feel it. Yes, it provides a break, but it doesn’t actually fill us back up to take on the world’s tasks, difficulties, and opportunities.
I’m curious what a new definition of me time would look like for myself and for my generation on a broader level. What if I took up my (electronic) pen or took a seat on the piano bench when I felt drained or annoyed? If it worked for Quincy, it sure can’t hurt for me.
“Creativity is one of the most beautiful gifts we possess. If utilized properly, not only does it serve as an outlet, but it also holds the power to transform heartache into something beyond a singular sentiment.”