Need treatment? Find help or get online counseling right now!

Archives for October, 2010

Creative Thinking

Elaine Aron on Creativity and Sensitivity

If they are highly sensitive, people tend to notice more of their outer and inner environments, and process more sensory information. All of which can help make us more creative.

Some areas of creative expression are especially appropriate for emotional sensitivity, an aspect of the trait for many people.

One example was actor Heath Ledger.

Director Todd Haynes commented after his death, "Heath was a true artist, a deeply sensitive man, an explorer, gifted and wise beyond his years."...
Continue Reading


Agitation or Not – Eric Maisel on Calm and Creativity

One of the influences on my concept of "artist" was Charlton Heston as Michelangelo in The Agony and the Ecstasy, 1965 - high passion, high drama, plenty of sturm and drang.

Hardly a contemplative type.

So is this sort of highly excited or agitated state more conducive to being creative?

The Yerkes–Dodson law developed by psychologists in 1908 showed that, at least for the most part, "performance increases with physiological or mental arousal, but only up to a point....
Continue Reading


Creative Inspiration – R. Keith Sawyer on Myths of Creativity

One of the enduring ideas about creative inspiration is that we have to wait for it or somehow encourage it to "visit us" - for example as a Muse - in order to do anything creative.

Professor R. Keith Sawyer, PhD, is a leading expert on creativity, with research in business innovation, organizational dynamics, children’s play, artistic and scientific creativity.

His books include Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation.

In a Time magazine article, he addressed...
Continue Reading

Creative Thinking

Sensitive, Creative, Less Influenced by Culture

“If you spend too much time being like everybody else, you decrease your chances of coming up with something different.” Robert Ornstein, PhD

Being highly sensitive is a common personality trait with creative people.

In my earlier post Being Highly Sensitive, Being Creative, I quoted psychologist Elaine Aron: “Highly sensitive individuals are those born with a tendency to notice more in their environment and deeply reflect on everything before acting… As a result, sensitive people, both...
Continue Reading

Creative Thinking

Creative Potential: Holding Back or Hypomania?

"He has a passionate speech about a business plan, conceived when he was a college freshman, that he says will change the planet — making it more entertaining, more engaging, and giving humans a new way to interact with businesses and one another."

That is a reference to a pitch for getting venture capital by entrepreneur Seth Priebatsch, in the article Just Manic Enough: Seeking Perfect Entrepreneurs, by David Segal (The New York Times, September...
Continue Reading

Creative Thinking

Highly Sensitive and Creative: Latent Inhibition

One technical term for the personality trait of high sensitivity is "sensory processing sensitivity" - because it involves increased sensory input and responsivity. There are some intriguing research studies on how this works at the level of the brain and nervous system and affects creative ability.

One study, for example, found that the brains of creative people appear to be more open to incoming stimuli from the surrounding environment.

(“Decreased Latent Inhibition Is Associated With Increased Creative Achievement...
Continue Reading

Creative Thinking

Ego and Creativity

There is a scene in "The Social Network" in which Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) is being deposed, as part of the legal process of being sued over the founding of his company.

He has an air of disdain and impatience with the proceedings, and comments to an attorney: "You have part of my attention - you have the minimum amount.

"The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and...
Continue Reading


Melora Hardin on Enhancing Creativity

Melora Hardin has wide-ranging creative passions including acting, directing, dancing, writing and singing.

She sang as Fantine in “Les Miserables” at the Hollywood Bowl, played “Jan” on the TV series “The Office” and is currently in the TV show "Outlaw" with Jimmy Smits.

She commented about being constantly focused and attentive toward ways to engage her talents.

“I’m always very very keen to keep my eyes and heart and ears open to opportunities to be creative.

"That’s really my reason...
Continue Reading

Creative Thinking

Writer Andrea Ashworth on Developing Creativity

Journaling Can Enhance Creativity and Health

As a child, Andrea Ashworth and her sisters suffered emotional, physical and sexual abuse from two stepfathers.

Her memoir, Once in a House on Fire, recounts those experiences growing up in Manchester, England, in the 1970s and '80s.

She went on to become one of the youngest research Fellows at Oxford University, where she earned her doctorate.

In our interview, she talked about how writing the memoir was "a real sanity-saving exercise"...
Continue Reading