Pushing a baby out

I’ve come up with a beautiful metaphor for creativity:

It takes two people—barring current and future technological capabilities—to conceive a baby. But only one person is responsible for pushing it out.

It’s the same with creativity. On the road to conception, we open ourselves up to as many inputs and influences as possible. We read books, we consume articles, we listen to interviews and podcasts, watch shows and documentaries, engage in dialogues on social media, contribute to specific communities, and have conversations with friends, colleagues, mentors and others that we cross paths with. The knowledge and understanding that arises from this constant give-and-take fuels our ideas. It informs our perspectives, evolves our mental models, and alters the stories we tell ourselves about the world we live in and the work we do.

But at some point we have to shut it all off. Shut it all out. We have to dam the river of new inputs, and do something with the old. In this moment, we become alchemists, transforming old ideas and influences into something new, something original, something unique, something we can call our own.

Our creations are conceived in a crowd. But bringing them into this world, making them a reality? That’s a solitary struggle