I struggle with the idea of where to put my ideas. In the past I’ve thought about this as the Medical Media Continuum.
So I ran across this post by Austin Kleon. He sees his output in two buckets, stock and flow. Flow is your feed and stock is your durable output. It’s drawn from a 2010 post on the subject by Robin Sloan:
Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that reminds people you exist.
Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what people discover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time.
The idea is to turn flow into stock. Ideas and thinking that make up your daily lifestream become the dots you connect for bigger, enduring stuff. And is not exclusive of the other according to Sloan:
And the real magic trick in 2010 is to put them both together. To keep the ball bouncing with your flow—to maintain that open channel of communication—while you work on some kick-ass stock in the background. Sacrifice neither. It’s the hybrid strategy.
Kevin Kelly in The Inevitable suggested that process trumps products:
Because of technology everything we make is always in the process of becoming. Every kind of thing is becoming something else, while it churns from “might” to “is.” All is flux. Nothing is finished. Nothing is done. This never-ending change is the pivotal axis of the modern world.
Check out Kleon’s experiment with daily blogging as flow and how it impacted his creative life. He offers an inspirational testimony for the power of daily output.
Got me feeling better that my 200 word ideas have a purpose.
And if you’re smart you’ll mosey over to Amazon and grab a copy of Austin Kleon’s brilliant Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.
Photo by Annie Spratt