Apparently creativity isn’t solely down to divine inspiration after all. Scientists now claim they can measure creativity – and, instead of waiting for the muse to strike, people can make their own creative juices flow, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
How? Well, honing your craft is number one: once you’re good at what you do, you focus less on the mechanics of the craft and you’re able to let it carry you into a creative frame of mind. Scientists studied musicians who improvised, and noticed that the part of the brain that regulates inhibition shut down. I guess this is the same with writing: I can recall times when I’m totally ‘in flow’ not noticing the time or what’s going on around me, and suddenly two hours will have gone by.
Following your passion is also key to creativity, as is curiosity, persistence, experimentation – and having a support network of people with whom you can talk through your project.
However, I’m not sure I agree with the findings that arbitrary deadlines stifle creativity. I find that most deadlines, arbitrary or otherwise, stimulate my creativity (OK, and the panic!) just when I need to cross a finishing line.
What an interesting article! Yes, I can agree that sharpening your craft does make you more creative, and I can see how deadlines would both stifle and encourage. (Encourage because now that you -have- to sit at the keyboard you actually will. It’s amazing how charming twitter and facebook and everything else but word document can be when you’re supposed to be writing a story.)
At the same time, when you’re working a deadline, you may be less inclined to experiment. I know I’m like that. Why take risks when you need it to come out great the first time?
Interesting thoughts all the way around. Thanks for sharing!
Hey nice post. My whole blog is mostly about trying to understand creativity – part of the fun is knowing I’m trying to define the undefinable – I love it when the scientists get involved. Some posts you might like on the things that hinder our creativity http://justifieddesign.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/top-5-self-inflicted-barriers-to-creativity/ and one on deadlines http://justifieddesign.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/theodor-geisel-jack-white-and-the-box/