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When I find something that I am interested in, I tend to be a very passionate person.
When I was 10 I picked up a digital camera for the first time and I have been interested in photography ever since. When I was 12, I started playing drums. Later on in my teen years I picked up coding and got into web development, this has led to my current fill time job as an eCommerce Manager. These passions have always been seasonal.
The seasonality of these interests has a lot to do with the learning curve. Since I tend to be an obsessive learner, the learning is half the fun for me. As I get more comfortable with a concept or skill, I tend to spend less time on it.
Understanding seasonality is important to Productivity, Personal Knowledge Management, creativity and knowledge work. Many people believe they should be in a constant state of productivity. Constant output. This isn’t true. In fact, thinking like this can be dangerous. The creative process follows this process:
Divergent thinking -> Convergent Thinking -> Output
Lets break it down.
Divergent Thinking is like being “right-brained”. People who are “right-brained” tend to do more divergent thinking. These people are good at brainstorming and exploring ideas. They’re often seen as artistic, creative or scatterbrained.
Convergent Thinking is akin to being “left-brained”. These people are often goood problem solvers and analytical thinkers. The world is more black-and-white to them. Whereas divergent thinkers tend to be on the fence more often.
We often tend to put people into categories. This is a mistake, because Divergent and Convergent Thinking work together. Especially in the creative process. The “Creative process” doesn’t necessarily have to be artistic. It could be something like solving a problem using creative solutions.
Divergent and Convergent Seasons in the Creative Process
A divergent season in the creative process is the period of time when you are in exploration. Personally, my divergent season includes lots article and book reading, lots of youtube videos and podcasts. Sometimes this can be structured. I’ll look for content around a singular topic with the aim to learn more about that topic. Sometimes, if I feel like learning even more about a topic I’ll read a book on the topic. Often, you’ll gleen the basics by listening to podcasts and tedtalks.
The divergent season is where you take all that ideation and create something with it. Good content comes from the unexpected intersection of ideas. This is true in a variety of fields such as writing, music, art and many other creative areas.