For years I hid my innate curiosity. As a kid, I was called a know-it-all. I had an insatiable curiosity about the world and was blessed with an eidetic memory. Once I’d read something, it was in my brain forever!
What did I learn this year? To just embrace my nerdiness and use my powers for good. Yup, that’s my super-power; remembering stuff. Woohoo!
If you don’t know what to study. If you don’t know what to write. If you don’t know what to do with your free time. If you want to contribute your time to a charity but aren’t sure which one. If you want to travel. If you want to fill your time on vacation… Curiosity will guide you. If you’re lost, curiosity will save you.
Despite losing some of my memory skills to motherhood/liquor/age, I’m harnessing my natural curiosity now as I launch into my writing. I really appreciate now all that this quality has brought to my life. Previously I could be counted on for conversation at a party, or to know how to measure the circumference of a circle (this happened at the Dream Job one day, people were astounded as though I had discovered a new star. They had no idea such a formula existed…), but people were often confronted by my super-power. People often found it weird. A bit like Spiderman’s web stuff. Useful but weird. Now, I love the energy I garner from curiosity and relish the research I do for each story. Which songs were popular in France in 1990? When were the Aubrey Holes of Stonehenge first investigated? It’s far easier these days of course. No more trips to the library to scour the microfiche!
Curiosity is essential for writers and artists ~ it’s the second best way to cure Writer’s block (after journaling!) ~ but everyone can benefit from following a rabbit down a hole every now and then.
One of my fave things is to listen to the odd podcast or 7. Most of them are interviews or chat/opinion shows but I love to browse through and find shows that are educational or pique my interest, especially concerning art and history.
Here are a few you might find interesting.
Blind Boy talks about how a Volcano in Indonesia changed the course of art in 1816.
Stuff You Should Know. Epic.
Stuff you missed in History class. Quite US-centric but worth a listen.
Great podcast with Will.I.Am discussing AI among other things. This interview informed many aspects of the AI in my Work in Progress ‘Mimi gets away with Murder’.
Even flopping in front of the telly night after night can be mind-numbing but not if you follow a bit of curiosity. I don’t know about other countries but in Australia, you don’t even need Netflix to find interesting programming. We have SBS On Demand and various other ‘catch up’ apps that allow you to search through and find interesting shows and docos. As long as you have a smartphone or device you can watch all sorts of interesting programmes.
I’ve just binge watched every available episode of Time Team on Youtube… party at Christine’s house!