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Posts tagged ‘creativity’

Breathing space – a blog about creativity

Inspiration is unpredictable.

This morning I was leaning into a wardrobe to hang up an item of clothing when an idea popped into my head. I had to dash to the computer to tap out this little gem before it faded. Good job, too, because it’s transformed the short story I’m working on. It wasn’t exactly a bolt from the blue, rather a distillation of several ideas and possibilities I’ve been mulling over. But it certainly highlights something about the creative process.

I used to believe that if I wasn’t sitting down at a computer or with a notepad, staring at the screen with my fingers poised above the keyboard or chewing the top of a pencil, then I wasn’t working. And being the kind of guy I am, I tend to feel guilty when I’m not working. Yet it’s often when I’m not consciously thinking about a project that the most important developments occur, when the subconscious mind has space to do its stuff.

This is something I’ve only recently come to fully appreciate and accept; and it’s a realisation that makes my creative endeavours somewhat less stressful. Sitting down with a pencil and paper/laptop/iPad/[insert your weapon of choice here] and staring through the window are undeniably important aspects of the game, but most good things need time to mature.

So if you’re struggling, just relax. Watch television, play a video game, go for a walk or a bike ride* – and don’t feel guilty. But carry a pencil and a scrap of paper with you. Just in case.

* Both forms of exercise which stimulate blood flow and oxygen intake – just right for boosting creativity.

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Creativity and the Brain – the Science Weekly podcast

This is a very interesting podcast about creativity in which the Guardian’s Alok Jha meets author Jonah Lehrer.

Creativity and the Brain

…to make it through, to be successful, to bring this idea you had in the shower into the real world – that’s going to take persistence, it’s going to take almost a silly single-mindedness, and that’s what we call grit. So if I was forced to choose one thing to say work on to maximise your creativity, it’s build up your grit.

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