The Experiment

The Hypothesis

Starting today I’m submitting myself to a deprivation experiment of sorts. For the next several days I will remove myself from all creative input.

Now you might be asking yourself, Why? Dear god, why?

From the absence of everything else, what can arise?

I have a theory. I believe that without a constant influx of information, entertainment and distraction, I will be forced to create my own. For me, that would preferably manifest in more writing.

In full disclosure, this isn’t a completely new idea. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, has her writing students go through a week of Reading Deprivation. In an episode of Penn Says, Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller, explains how he gained extra time for personal thought by turning the radio off during his daily commute.

The main difference for this experiment will be the level of deprivation. Julia’s method is restricted to just reading. As my average time for reading is limited to the last few minutes before falling asleep, I doubt her method alone would prove beneficial. Penn’s method would have more of an impact, But I listen to my iPod and radio far more than when I’m just in my car.

So I’ve decided to combine both methods and throw in all of my free-thinking time-sucks. Here they are in order of time consumption:

  • iPod
  • Internet
  • Television
  • Books
  • Radio

So starting today I will remove those five things from my life for the next seven days. This post was actually written yesterday and scheduled to post today as to not interfere with the experiment. During the next seven days I will keep a hand-written account of my progress. After my self-imposed week is up, I plan to copy those entries here for all to see.

The Prediction

I think the first couple of days I will become uber-productive, especially at work. This will most likely be an attempt to distract myself from the lack of mind-numbing stimulation. Once I run out of progress, symptoms of withdraw will likely set in. When I break through that, is when I believe my own creative output will follow.

The Invitation

Misery loves company, right? I would love for you to join me in this experiment. Drop a line in the comments below with a link to where I can see your progress. Granted, that wont be for another week, but I’ll get there eventually.

Good luck!


3 thoughts on “The Experiment

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