I just finished reading the free Read & Trust issue, where a bunch of writers wrote about creativity. It was, dare I say, inspiring!

The thing that jumped off the page at me was a quote from Ray Bradbury about risk that Shawn Blanc wrote:

“You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” – Ray Bradbury

This jumped out at me today because I’ve been teetering on the edge of a cliff for a while now, but this morning made a phone call that pushed me over the edge.

This topic of fear is something that Merlin has covered extensively in Back to Work, particularly in relation to changing jobs. It’s definitely worth subscribing to B2W if you’re at all interested in what I suppose is referred to as ‘life hacks’.

But back to the creativity thing. It’s interesting that I should mention podcasts, because that’s what this post is ultimately about.

Both Shawn and Brett talked about giving the brain time to process information so that ideas can form themselves. Brett even goes so far as to suggest sleeping! Well, I wasn’t giving myself much time at all for that processing to happen. The reason for that was podcasts. I started listening to Security Now! and TWiT when they started, and from there I have only ever added new shows, never removed. That is until recently. And if I ever did manage to get through my podcast queue, I’d be straight into my Audible queue.

I had a thought in the shower that I seem only ever to have ideas in the shower. (See what I did there?) And although the reason for this is patently obvious, it never really dawned on me until quite recently: It’s the one part of the day when I take off my headphones!

So, about a month ago I made a rule. It was a very hard rule for me to enforce, I suppose because of my OCD nature. Some of these shows I’ve never missed an episode! But I did it, and nothing bad happened. They didn’t eat me!

So, what was the rule? Simple. Any podcast that’s over two hours long gets deleted straight away. No questions asked. I’ve missed a bunch of Hypercriticals, MacBreak Weeklys and TWiTs since I made that decision, but I did start getting some time back. Probably the most painful one was The Talk Show with Marco. I’d probably have enjoyed that, although I suspect it was all about the iPhone 5 so chances are that I’ve heard or read their views anyway.

So, I’ve been spending the time I got back listening to music again, something I just never seemed to have time for anymore. And d’you know what? I’ve been experiencing fleeting feelings of fulfilment and joy whilst out with the dogs when listening to music. I’ve been processing thoughts and generally feeling a whole lot happier. Standing on the beach looking out over Holy Island and listening to alt-J gave me an incredible feeling of joy and gave me back some perspective on some of the difficulties that life is throwing at me right now. And I’m finally using those expensive Beats headphones that I bought myself for my 40th birthday last year!

So, although I do enjoy the podcasts, I’m considering cutting back ever further. I’m not quite sure how I’ll do that just yet. I’d considered listening only to shows with Merlin in them, since they actually help me on a, dare I say, spiritual level. Brett’s Systematic has also helped me on some shows.

I could change the habit as well, something like podcasts in the kitchen or when fixing computers and music when out with the dogs. It’s a work in progress…

In terms of news though, I don’t watch TV news at all, nor do I read newspapers on or offline. The only news I consume is tech news, either via podcast or Websites. So I guess there’s a lot of redundancy there anyway.

I’m going to buy a couple more issues of Read & Trust magazine, because I enjoyed very much the free issue.

And if there ever is an episode of Back to Work or Roderick on the Line that goes over the two–hour mark, I’m guessing that I’ll keep them.

Hey, they’re my rules!