Hmm, how can you be private and also out loud? And what is a creativity storm? And what do they have to do with each other?
First, let’s remember that we are intentionally speaking to creative outliers here. And for us, the idea of a creativity storm, I suspect is one most of us are not strangers to. We sometimes have so many ideas at the same that it can be overwhelming but even if it is in a good way and welcome, Creativity Storms can be problematic, for there is all of this good stuff we want to capture, but it is incoming way too fast.
This is where the notion of journaling comes in as part of a morning practice. If some of you are like me, you may wake up with way too many ideas to be able to process, never mind to make use of. Sometimes this can occur in the middle of the night, inconvenient unless you live alone. A journal is a place where you can be “Private Out Loud”. You can stem the flow of too many ideas by talking to yourself in a journal, privately but still out loud to yourself. Some bits and pieces, and even large ones may end up being public. This is more about having a conversation with yourself both to help sort out the too many ideas and to stem the flow so you can get back to sleep if you want to. Or, to get on with your day without being in the middle of an immobilizing Creativity Storm.
Now, I do not know about the rest of you, but I can not type nearly as fast as I can think. I also can not speak as quickly as I can think either. When in public, this can get you in trouble, because you can speak more quickly than you are evaluating and filtering which can create a mess. Maybe some of you have been there? Hey, as creative folks sometimes the idea flow is faster than the word flow, and sometimes the word flow can get out of control. These are all aspects of Creativity Storms and good reasons to journal as a regular practice to calm down enough to be civil and intentional. If not, you run the risk of burying those around you with too many ideas.
Some well-adjusted creative people are well self-managed and prevent themselves from over-communicating or under-communicating. Congratulations, if you are well balanced enough to manage your larger than Bell Curve normal emotional dynamic range.
Essentially, we are proposing storytelling as a therapeutic tool. We all tell ourselves stories. Our journals are examples of private out loud storytelling. We do know that reality is of greater dimension and velocity than the stories we tell ourselves. We experience life faster than we can type and faster than we can speak. Emotions are way faster than logic! This is why we had to invent storytelling in the first place.
When a lot of external events impinge upon us, some read, watch or listen to the news, whereas others condense the incoming, to a story they tell. Professionals tend to say they are covering a “fast-breaking” story which allows everyone to pretend that this story is the “truth”. Well, maybe not so much?
When internal events are proceeding at greater velocity and complexity than we can rationally process, there is no channel to tune into to “get the story”. This is where journaling comes in. Whether you find yourself in an emotional storm precipitated by external (the news or others in your life) or internal events (as in a creativity storm), the same simple powerful process can be fantastically effective. Tell a story to yourself – privately and out loud. This does not have to be spoken or sonic. It can be a picture, a diagram, text, longhand or spoken, sung or danced and it can be very helpful to tell the story at least to yourself first.
Telling the story to yourself in general precedes telling the story to others. If you are a creative outlier trying to make a living monetizing your creativity or an innovator getting insights adopted, you are going to have to tell a story. No Story = No Stakeholders! Often you can not make things happen completely by yourself.
So, whether you have one person-size dream or world-changing large-team dreams, or just have to cope with a Creativity Storm, you still need to begin with the story. That story will have to be expressed in a way that is Private Out Loud.