Finding your ground

Joshua GilleIt’s funny – when I started writing more about process and creativity last year (it was a change of focus – I had been sharing images and works by others since this blog began); I felt a sense of relief. Relief because I felt that Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr in some ways had replaced blogging (especially visual blogging) in many ways. The ease of sharing things online was exciting, and I felt that instead of just re-posting things on my blog, I was able to keep a virtual diary of sorts through these fragmented sites – it was a mere click away to publish (as opposed to formatting the images, making it web-friendly, accrediting it manually, etc) before it could be palatable and presentable as a blog post.

But then I found that noise crept in. Things were moving so fast. What was that I pinned yesterday? I couldn’t quite remember what it was that I found, that inspired me enough to click that button in a mere second. Likes. Pins. Follows. There wasn’t a lack of inspiration – instead it felt like I needed a breather from all that I was taking in. I couldn’t digest properly. It was as if I was at a buffet table and shoving everything into my mouth without biting, without feeling. Now I know what my students meant when they felt incapacitated by the web.

This is the web that they know.

But it wasn’t like this, as I remembered. I wish that things were simpler, like before. But things are going to move at an even quicker pace, and I can’t kid myself that it will work the way I want it. I’m all up for progress. Rather, it’s up to me to hold on to something that I can steady myself with, so I can spin along while being centered.

This blog is an ever-evolving experiment, and I like that I can play by my own rules.

So yes it’s a place where I can take things a little slower. To digest. To feel. To experiment.

That way I’ll know when to catch myself when I feel that things are spinning out of control. And that’s something I can hold on to.

SHARE WITH ME:

In a world where things seem to spin so fast, what keeps you grounded? What is the one thing that remains a constant for you – that centers you and helps you to keep going?

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[Illustration by Joshua Gille]
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17 thoughts on “Finding your ground

  1. What is it that keeps me grounded? I thought the answer would be simple and yet I had to think hard for a few minutes. My artistic work is what keeps me grounded and there is no doubt about that. But the whirlwind of life, on and off line, is very strong and all too often I need to hold onto my creativity as if it were a physical life-saver. Curiously, that desperate grip ends up suffocating my art. For a while, it stops being free and it becomes a ‘must do’. I won’t say that kills it but it’s certainly a punch in the nose. When things spin too fast, that which keeps me grounded swerves this way and that and doesn’t feel very secure any more. So I’m learning a new art: how to walk the tightrope!

    • I’ve always been someone described as floaty. Obsessed with change I often avoid things that are “grounding”, but lately, I’ve been feeling like trying to do EVERYTHING is wearing me thin and sucking my creative flow. I recently deleted my Facebook, and have decided to scale back on social media in general. Does anyone else feel like keeping up an online presence is like trying to maintain multiple identities? It gets mentally draining!

      My plan to stay more grounded is to start a new blog that acts as a diary, where I can brain dump. I think writing in bed is good way to feel grounded, it’s just a matter of get into the habit–or in my case getting back into the habit.

  2. What keeps me grounded is knowing that I am working for my family. Sometimes I lose my way, and I get caught up in the “work of it all”, but ultimately, work isn’t the end game for me – its family and knowing that my passion is supporting that. I had a very similar relief to you when I turned off my blog – Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook were doing the work for me. Thanks for sharing this article, it was just what I needed this morning :)

  3. I agree, my family keeps me grounded. And my dog. Somehow the simple act of going for a walk in any kind of weather with my loyal mutt reminds me to look around, take in deep breaths of fresh air, and satisfying exhales. The online world is like a never-ending field of greener pastures, spinning out like an infinite kaleidoscope. Walking in the shadow of trees makes me feel whole.

  4. What keeps me grounded, when I have so many things, images, ideas to remember that I can fit any more information in, and at the same time I have to concentrate on my work, deadlines, house, cleaning, kids.. and feel frustrated due to the luck of time.,and luck of memory, What i do is take a little notebook and write down those things that were the best out of all the information that I’ve been gathering during the whole day. The best sentence, the funniest thing, the name of the film, theather, show that it’s worth seeing, and that´s it, the rest disappears leaving free space for next day inspirational things and i feel so relieved after knowing that everything that ii’s important for me is in my notebook.

    • I love the idea of writing down what struck me as I’ve indulged myself in the internet. It can really become so mindless. I’m going to actually start making a point of pinning instead of just liking pins, and commenting instead of “liking” Facebook posts.

      Writing keeps me grounded. I haven’t written in my journal in a while and I need to do it everyday.

      Thank you for the reminder.

  5. I put so much into my blog, and have so little interaction through it, whereas something like Instagram is very rewarding in the interaction game. Still, I love my blog and like to keep it going as a record of where I’ve been (really useful, with a rubbish memory like mine), and also as a place for pause. I’ve been considering, like Lisa Congdon did (still does?) turning off the comments feature on my blog, so that it is not actually a site for interaction – or more often, non-interaction – and that I do it only because I like to and need to do it.
    I do enjoy your reflective posts, and the invitation you always extend to turn your mirror back upon ourselves.
    x

  6. It’s funny because just a week ago I published my first review of an illustration book in ages. My blog is quite old (2004) and I am an avid user of Pinterest Tumblr, Twitter and all the social devices made for sharing, but I started to feel that I needed again to use my blog to share more in depth why I think that something is worth sharing.
    And I used more or less the same words: the blog is an ever-evolving experiment, and I like that I can play by my own rules (only, it’s in Italian).

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  7. grounded? not feeling that way since I retired. the blog seems to be last on my list. more of a lack of list. i like the connection that facebook allows, but it’s all to much to keep up with. i’m still looking for ground in this new adventure.

  8. Sometimes I am not grounded – in fact a lot of the time I am not. And it is that fast paced bombardment of images and inspiration. I think we are all trying to navigate this new world with it’s information overload, and looking for ways to connect and produce, not just be consumers and takers.

  9. What keeps me grounded artistically is sketching something from life every day. It also keeps me grounded in reality!
    I have the same problem with feeling fragmented on the web- I used to do regular weekly updates on my blog, and now I tend to share most things through social media, but the blog still feels the most like my Internet “home.”

  10. I agree with many of the other comments that art keeps me grounded – I was struggling with finding time, having kind of an “all or nothing” attitude, but since the New Year have vowed to do something creative every single day, even if it is just half-hearted doodles in my sketchbook for five minutes before I turn out the light. What I’ve found is that I find myself now looking for more time to create and having more ideas than ever. Daily creativity stops feeling like a burden and becomes fuel for the fire when you let go of feeling like it has to be significant every time. It’s just practice. Like exercise, not every run is going to be great, but you have to get out and do it regularly in order to do when when you *do* run that race.

  11. My faith & family keep me grounded. I was feeling this post today as my youngest turned 10 (double digits . . . how’d that happen?) and planning a book release & organizing a bloghop . . . sooo over stimulated! *downs 8th cup of coffee*

  12. Hello everybody! first time posting here. I agree with what you said about blogging in the past. We are moving at a hectic pace that is just hard to organise everything we pin, lists we make, to do tasks, inspiration boards, moods. What keeps me grounded is just stoping. I do not have to blog everyday. I don’t like to force myself and think that I have to check all my to do things in one day. If I have the time to do this or that, that is fine, if I don’t, that is also fine!

    I like the idea that my blog, as Eliza says, it’s a home, and it also keeps record of what you have done.

  13. Thanks Amy i feel just like You, too much likes and pin. Blogs are better and i think we have to take more time to write and read. Grounded? My kids!

  14. I’ve always been someone described as floaty. Obsessed with change I often avoid things that are “grounding”, but lately, I’ve been feeling like trying to do EVERYTHING is wearing me thin and sucking my creative flow. I recently deleted my Facebook, and have decided to scale back on social media in general. Does anyone else feel like keeping up an online presence is like trying to maintain multiple identities? It gets mentally draining!

    My plan to stay more grounded is to start a new blog that acts as a diary, where I can brain dump. I think writing in bed is good way to feel grounded, it’s just a matter of get into the habit–or in my case getting back into the habit.

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