Are you moving too fast to be inspired?


“Perhaps we’re moving too fast to be inspired by what’s around us. Our news, entertainment and learning are fed to us in increasingly smaller bites, which we thoughtlessly consume, each bite replaced by the next. We need time to make and time to pause and appreciate, but our rush to assimilate more impoverishes us spiritually and intellectually, and robs us of a deep connection with the world.”  Marian Bantjes, I Wonder (New York, 2010), 29-30.

I didn’t set any goals this year.

Besides of course, my “Live a Creative Life” resolution.

I feel like I reached a point in my personal progression where instead of wanting more and to be more, and do more, that I really wanted to turn that all around!

I wanted less.

I wanted less chaos. Less noise. Less junk and clutter in my life.

Less information overload.

Less digital distraction.

I counted up the daily average number of hours that I spent on the computer a few weeks ago. It added up to 7 hours! SEVEN HOURS! And all but about 3 hours are unncessary.

There is this sneaky little addiction that tells my mind that I need to “Keep up! Keep up with what is going on!  How can you be a successful artist and person if you’re not aware of everything that is happening around you?! How will you get inspired and have creative thoughts without pinterest, blogs, and facebook, (gasp!) What if you miss something!!!!”


The answer is always NO.

When do I feel most inspired?

  • When I’m reading a book.  A book allows for greater exploration of a thought than a blogpost.
  • When I’m riding my bike or walking (unplugged).  I’m outside and my mind clears with the rhythm of moving and my mind finally has a chance to think of nothing at all. And yet, thinking of nothing at all suddenly makes room for the best thoughts to have a presence.
  • When I journal quietly in the morning before anyone else is awake.  I write by hand so I can’t check email or click a link, and then another, and then another. Writing by hand means its just me, my thoughts, and the quiet house.
  • When I’m really present in the moment with my family.  We’re playing the piano and singing. Making music instead of just listening to it.  Reading books instead of watching movies. Laughing at each other instead of laughing at a screen.
  • When I’m really creating. Improvising on the piano. Taking pictures of my family. Making a meal from scratch. Making something with my hands. Writing my thoughts.

None of those things are fast.

In fact, every last one of them is slow in comparison to the digital world.

Our minds must have time to process information. They must have time to experience. They must have time to draw conclusions, and build upon those conclusions.

Living a creative life is about living slow enough for inspiration to work inside us.  Its about taking time to implement the info.

Its sort of like the difference of fast food dinner that is served through the window of your car and eating a home cooked meal that took two hours to make.

Things that require little to no effort  on our part will never nourish or produce the same results.  

I can read blog after blog, pin after pin, link after link. The only effort on my part is clicking and skimming. I appease the appetite for a moment, but I’m hungry again soon after.

Or I could actually create some of those pinned items. Implement the new photo tip. Try out the suggested business improvements. Make the new recipe. Change my routine. Read the suggested book.

There’s no question which one will bring greater and more lasting results.

But slowing down is hard! Its a choice. Its a lifestyle. Its effort. Its discipline.

How do YOU do it? Please share your thoughts in the comments!


Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. Her favorite way to slow down usually involves food. Swiss Chocolate and a dark quiet room and comfortable chair in absolute solitude.  Only one piece. Because really, this is an exercise in slowness and savoring!

Brooke teaches inspiring online photography classes that bring you confidence in your skills and creativity.

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9 Responses

  1. And I’m only thinking 7 hours!! For the WHOLE week! Impressive.

    I wouldn’t even consider myself to be a computer junkie. Since I’ve been pursuing new creative outlets, I find myself online more and more researching and learning.

    I think that actually sitting and reading what’s out there is inspiring me. It’s propelling me. Just as long as I stay off Facebook. 🙂

    1. Oh heavens! Not the whole week! The whole day!!!! If I was at an average of 7 hours a week my life would be completely different! My main point in the post isn’t to discourage being online, its to encourage more ACTION of all the tiny bits of info I take in as inspiration. For it to be truly effective I have to move away from the computer and do something about it 🙂

  2. Thank you for this post! I have been spending far too much time on the computer because business is slow, it’s cold outside, and so many other excuses. I have been making some progress on cutting back on my computer time (I actually DO get off the computer & make the things I pin! lol), but it’s time to really get myself back in gear. I used to set a timer when I would get on the computer, just so I didn’t get sucked in. I guess it’s time to pull out the timer again.

    And when that timer goes off, I need to get off the couch and do something…head outside for a walk with my daughter, go shoot for myself when the clients aren’t calling, just be productive.

  3. I agree. I feel like I have been pondering this same idea since the begining of pinterest. The last few weeks I have made a resolve to actually use things in my life. If I am going to spend 30 mins on Pinterest I look for crafts I would do and then I do them. Recipes I would cook and then I add them to the menu. It is hard to keep the focus but I find myslef spending less time dreaming and more time creating.

  4. Ahhh.. you appear to be much more evolved in your personal progression. 🙂

    Goals (resolutions) are my record of where I started, and where I hope to end up. My, left-brainedness (good word, huh?!) seems to require this starting and stopping point to gauge if any progress is being made. It sounds silly, but I need to take very purposeful steps to be creative. My mind could come up with six ways for you to save on your taxes, before it would come up with one idea for a 52 week project!

    Thank you for the thoughts you share with us. Your creative spirit permeates your life, and we are all blessed by it. Especially those of us who struggle mightily with the wish to “Live a Creative Life”.

  5. I love this. I am trying to now have official ‘business hours’ in which I do whatever I need to for my photography. Then once the hubby comes home from work it is family time. But I do find that I am spending a great deal of time on the computer and not just editing photos. I spend a lot of time like you said – reading through blogs or other media.

  6. Wonderful. Thank you for such a thoughtful post, full of good reminders of how I want to spend my time and how easily I can slip into skimming creativity instead of living into my own.

  7. Hi Brooke
    Thank you for this post. I love it. It is good to stop and review what is going on in our life and it is smart way to improve quality of life by setting goal for family. I use computer about 2 hours daily on week day and more on weekend. Winter is hard for me to be outside but there are a lot of things to take pictures that I like to do. Photos are bright my days.

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