If even hearing the word “social” makes you want to curl up into your bed and shut the door and stay there for a week, you’re not alone.
Even though outward assumptions might indicate that I love to be dancing around with people 24/7, that is not always the case. I often have to make a concerted effort to attend events and get my butt outside into the world.
Prime example here in Day 21 of #danceinmay:
But most of the time when I do get myself out into social situations, I find things. Great things. And I think you will, too.
I’m going with a top 5 list today on how being social can fuel your creative juju, contrary to a common belief that artists should be holed up in their studio all the time.
(Keep in mind that I’m talking about being social in physical form, not on internet social media. Although, that can have it’s benefits too. I’ll save those thoughts for a whole nother post, perhaps even next week.)
So here you are - 5 ways social interaction can fuel your creativity:
1. You become who you say you are. By meeting people and talking about what you do, you are reinforcing the fact that you are doing that thing. Spending some time dancing every week on your own is great, but when you actually start telling people you’re a dancer, it makes it more real. They will ask you questions. They might want to see what you’re working on.
2. You create new relationships. By hearing what others do, you can be inspired and find new connections. Maybe you’ll meet someone who is the perfect referral for your friend who’s been desperately seeking a catsitter. Maybe you’ll meet an awesome musician who will invite you to his show and end up introducing you to your future lover. You’ll never know unless you start talking to new people.
3. You discover things in the inbetween time. Travel time to social settings can excellent for the creative process. Even if you feel a bit uncomfortable at whatever event you’ll be attending, there’s usually travel time involved from one end to the other. If you are in a city and can take public transportation, it’s a great opportunity to do some writing or personal reflection or just take in the scenery around you. If you’re driving, use the opportunity to sing loudly or listen to music that gets you pumped.
4. You get out of your head. Sometimes it’s just good to have fun and get out of your head and out of your more serious process. Work doesn’t always have to look like having your head stuck in front of the computer or being constantly in the art studio. Your creative work follows you everywhere if you let it. Infuse some lightness into it by not taking yourself so seriously. Have a beer with some people and chill out.
5. You stop relying on the internet to make shit happen. Human interaction can be way more effective than emailing. Ever notice how you can find a person or organization online and you really want to collaborate with them but it seems impossible to reach the right people? Now imagine having a conversation with them and being able to share your story and ask them questions… much more potential, right? It’s hard to forget a face, it’s easy to gloss over another random email.
One caveat when it comes to being social:
There’s a difference between making excuses to not want to go out when you really know you should, and then actually truly making a choice to not go out.
I’m all about paying attention to our natural rhythms, and I think that you have to be real with yourself and your inner artist about what kind of environment and energy is needed at that time. Sometimes it is better to have alone time to reflect. It’s not always good to push yourself to go out.
The most important thing to remember is to check in with yourself to know when to push it and get yourself out there, and when it is, in fact, best to stay curled up in bed.
Invitation:: If you’re feeling wild and ready to be more social, plan on coming out with me and my amazing friend Shandoah - and a whole group of awesome creative people - on June 17th in Brooklyn. We are co-hosting an event called The Artsy Hookup and it’s designed to help you meet more of the people you really want to meet. It’s free, but you must RSVP. Here.
Back to you -
Did you ever push yourself to go out and were happy you did so?
How do you feel about being “social?”
Share in the comments below and out your social habits!
(We’re stronger together, so don’t isolate.)
to human interaction in healthy doses,