Friday, February 8, 2008

Creativity: What I Know for Sure

- The pump can be primed. Finding out what you need to immerse yourself in to prime the pump is part of the creative process. And that may change from time to time. For me, long walks help, but so do trips to museums or listening to great music. I've seen people with writer's block come around when they accept the challenge to write haiku. In that case, being given the structure of the 5-7-5 syllabic form helped channel the flow.

- Have fun. Whether it is painting, composing music or choreography, playing with the components without putting pressure on yourself to create a masterpiece can help you leave an overly critical mindset behind.

- Explore groups. Try collage parties, writing circles, improv groups, etc. A popular book for structuring creative groups is The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

- To generate new ideas, try something new. If you are stuck in one area, try a new medium. The first time I joined in an Artist's Way group, we tried fingerpainting, theatrical monologs, collages, and sculpting in clay. Some did not come as naturally as others, but switching between mediums got the flow going. Another example: drawing with your non-dominant hand, or drawing without looking at the paper.

- Journaling can free the creative spirit. Being playful, asking questions, indulging in lists and wishes, keeping the hand moving -- can lead creative surprises. The subconscious begins to show. For writers getting started in this vein, in my opinion, Natalie Goldberg is the Queen of the Writerly Flow. Her book, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within was very instrumental for me when I began to take creative writing seriously some years ago.

Quotation:
Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual. - Arthur Koestler

Drawing by KAO: Big Pink Moon with Fanciful Poles

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