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Social Media and Creative Energy

For many artists, social media is a mixed blessing. Easily addictive yet highly connective, it works best for us as an addition to our art rather than as a substitute for it. The danger of social media is that in our hunger for connection, we pour out our creative energies into a barrage of emails, Facebook posts and tweets, instead of onto the easel or page or piano or stage. The advantage of social media as a whole is that it cuts through feelings of intense isolation, connecting us to like-minded souls even when we are geographically far-flung. The disadvantage is that it is possible to become too consumed by the lives and responses of others, looking outside instead of in, and compromising our own creative growth and well-being.

Make no mistake: Art itself can take us to distant places, to caves buried deep within the psyche, or to the wide expanses of distant space. Art is powerful, and artists require careful grounding. It is a matter of balance. It is best to not binge on creativity, but to keep it carefully embedded in the flow of life. It is best to not binge on social media, but keep connection to others also carefully embedded in the flow of life.

An artist must be immersed in life without being submerged in it. An artist must have enough solitude and enough connection. It takes practice, and the conscious building of daily ritual, but it is possible-- quite possible-- to find the precise balance of "inflow" and "outflow" we require to thrive.

10 Comments on "Social Media and Creative Energy"

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. Though I’m not so sure of balance. There are times when things in my life are out of balance, and that may be necessary at that particular point. I think of it in terms of, What needs my energy/focus right now? 9 out of 10 times, it won’t be social media. Just like morning pages, the best thing is probably to set aside some time for it, since it’s become such a crucial aspect of our lives. Just like you said, don’t binge, but embed.

    p.s. Your work has had a tremendous impact on my life. Thank you for being you, and sharing your gifts with the world.

  2. There is synchronicity here. I blogged about this just yesterday!

  3. Easily addictive is right. I find myself lost in a sea of posts, and likes, and seemingly out of nowhere, I’ll slam my laptop shut and shake it off. It takes conscious effort – and I noticed I need to shut down if I want to write anything I’d even think about reading.

  4. I am the same opinion. I always try to show to my children to use the time also for creativity as for mobiles ect. After that I am feeling old fashioned. But today people are so “drunk” to use mobiles it is really hard. I recognize that using the mobiles is also a creative act, there are so much possibilities to use all these apps. Myself I try to structure the time to not beeing so absorbed from my computer. I recognize that if I am too long with I am getting irritably because I am not satisfied what I am doing. I need to be creative in an other way☺

  5. Thank you Julia again for your words. A very timely post for me as I have been working on some major projects and have let go of some of my rituals; Morning Pages one of them. I’m a Social Media Consultant and find much synchronicity in my work and play however I do feel it becomes more “work” when I let go of my rituals and creativity. Thanks for the reminder. You are a great inspiration.

  6. Oh yes yes, Julia. Social media is such a mixed blessing. I always so love your viewpoint and your words. Such as keeping creativity ‘carefully embedded in the flow of life’. That perpetual balancing act of solitude and connection… artmaking from within…responding to what’s outside.

  7. Writing and social media are definitely a balancing act, which, I think works based like most things as 80/20. You should bottle up and pour most of your ideas, raw, rough, whatever, onto the page and not waste the idea on a Facebook post, for example, where it’ll pass down the newsfeed and into forgotten eternity within 23 minutes.

    Social media is a tool, but one that should be limited extensively person to person. Otherwise, there you are, slack jawed, thumbing a glowing screen well into the night or first thing in the morning when there is a creative well to spring.

    (Just learned about Morning Pages and your books, which brought me here)

  8. This post, “Social Media and Creative Energy”, has some important messages in it! Thank you, Julia!

  9. Profile photo of Angela Toungate

    I too believe that social media, in any form, can be a muddy mind contributor. I do think it’s a mix blessing. Gratefully, I have obstained this week, because of the week 4 task of fasting from media, etc., That I am finding a much more clearing and connection to the creator God, than before. I have also, done some of the required tasks on my list and also gotten rid of or donated, some of my clothes. I am proud of that. It is so hard not to respond to notifications on Facebook, and yet you ask us to be around like-minded people so here I am, new to your blog. Thank you for prompting and helping me to complete this journey. @Julia Cameron. Thank you for listening and answering the call, so many years ago to write and teach these books. #TheArtistsWay. Angiesjourney.

  10. Ana Ocáterli says:

    Gracias por este mensaje: un artista debe sumergirse en la vida, sin ser sumergido por ella.
    Desde Argentina, estoy leyendo tu libro El camino del artista (voy por la Semana 9) y te agradezco infinitamente tu mensaje. ¡Maestra!

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