Ever suffer from creative block? Ever have a great idea that just doesn't end up seeing the light of day? Us too. But as a creative storytelling agency, these things aren't just frustrating - they're bad for business.
So, when we heard from our good friend Gwyn Jones, director of Sustainability Practitioners, that nature was the key to unlocking our true creative potential, we jumped on the opportunity to get into the great outdoors faster than you can say brainstorm.
Research suggests that our brains aren't designed for the kind of information bombardment we put them through every day. Sometimes, we need to allow them to 'reset'. For example, in one study conducted at Herion-Watt University in Edinburgh, participants were shown to be less frustrated and more meditative (Aspinall, 2013) when they walked through an urban green space. That's compared to people walking through a built-up environment.
This is supported by Strayer (2012), who said, 'If you’ve been using your brain to multitask—as most of us do most of the day—and then you set that aside and go on a walk, without all of the gadgets, you’ve let the prefrontal cortex recover, and that’s when we see these bursts in creativity, problem-solving, and feelings of well-being.' There's a whole host of other evidence too, suggesting that the great outdoors is the solution to our creative frustrations.
Hopefully, you're thinking that the outdoor thing sounds pretty good. You're probably also thinking, 'How can I actually practise this, and make it work in real life?' and, 'What has this got to do with success?'. Those thoughts ran through our heads too. And while we weren't 100% sure on the answer at the time (Psst! We've since figured it out!), we were determined to try and discover what it was.
That's how we ended up on a night-hike to Agglestone Rock.
Bare Hike - GoPro Hero 5 from Bare Collective on Vimeo.
After a long week with our heads down in multiple projects, nothing quite levelled our headspace than an eight mile walk through the beautiful Dorset countryside. We were gung-ho, and upbeat. We walked hard. Before long, the night closed in, and we discovered that the moon's silver light was bright enough that we didn't need our headtorches. Then, towards the end of our journey, we slogged across a starlit beach. Our boisterousness died down as we digested our surroundings, and talked film, and politics. We arrived back at the cars, thankful to sit down... but were we any more creative?
It didn't feel like it. Not really. At least, not at the time.
But having checked in with the team since the walk (this was written two days afterwards), it seems to have had a profound effect.
For example, Steve, Bare's lead developer, found that he no longer felt the need to check his phone all the time. 'Not constantly checking Facebook allows you space to be "bored"', Steve said. 'And I think being bored breeds creative thinking.'
Louis, Bare's writer, testified to that, having been at least 50% more productive in his weekend creative sessions, AND being engaged for at least 50% longer without getting distracted. And it goes without saying that engagement and productivity are key for success.
Getting out into the wild is easy. Just stick a date in the calendar, pick some friends or colleagues to go out with you (or don't), and go on your own little adventure. Your creativity will thank you for it. Creative block? What creative block?
If you'd like to see the Bare's heightened sense of creativity in action, get in touch here.
Fancy taking our route?