Apparently, living overseas boosts creativity

May 30 2009
Cretalia, in the jacket, Bernard and their sister. Whose name I missed.

Cretalia, in the jacket, Bernard and their sister. Whose name I missed.

Lovely night last night at Ross Atherton’s (editor of PC Gamer) leaving party. He’s off to do exciting things in Paris. As it was also the first time I’d met up with Bath people since getting back from Zambia, obviously there were lots of questions about how it all went. Mostly the evening was spent deflecting questions – I won’t feel proud of the trip until we’ve actually raised some serious cash – but it did make me think of this story from the Economist, which I read while overseas.

The premise is that living overseas enhances your creativity. Sounds like a romantic notion cultivated by want-to-be Hemmingways, but psychologists reckon they’ve found a link. It’s a couple of weeks old now, as a story, and I only mention it because it’s rung very true for me this week.

I’ve written a lot since I got back – mostly laptop reviews for Stuff and finishing off bits and bobs for Gamer. (An aside – The Samsung X360 is awesome, by the way, although I don’t think I’ll be trading in my Eee 901 for anything else any time soon after its performance in Africa.) I’ve not had any time to work more on the LAO blog, or post much here. The thing is, while we were in Zambia, I couldn’t stop writing – I was exercising all kinds of journalistic skills that have lain dormant for a while and really enjoying work again. There are even – heaven forbid – a few short stories plotted out among my notes.

Now there’s a real danger of falling back into the same old routines again – working to deadlines, only writing for money, feeling exhausted because of the enforced early mornings which having a three year old daughter brings. This must be avoided at all costs – but it feels strangely hard.

One of Brendas stunning images from Simakakata

So, two new targets are set. First up, I need to help Steve actually gain some profile for LearnAsOne and raise the money we need to build the school in Simakakata. Secondly, I need to find a job overseas. I don’t think I’ll ever move as a freelance, it’s just too much of a risk.

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