Today I noticed that near where I live, the fast food chain Whataburger opened a "digital kitchen." From what I understand, it means that you can't go inside; you can only order things online and then pick them up. I wondered why they would use a prime spot for something where you can't even sit down inside, but then I learned that it exists to get around a sort of "restaurant curfew" in the area. Restaurants have to close by 9 PM … but there is a loophole for something like this, where you can stay open later if people aren't actually going inside and sitting down.
The creative lesson I took from this Noticing is that constraints, whether they are rules, guidelines, or unexpected challenges, can often spur the most innovative solutions. For writers and artists, it serves as a reminder that sometimes, the most compelling narratives or art arise not in spite of limitations, but because of them. It's about navigating the framework we're given and finding inventive ways to tell our stories or convey our message in whatever new and interesting ways we can.
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Listening to the Art of Noticing podcast is only one way to get these lessons. Every episode of the podcast also has a complete companion blog post, all of which you can find here.