Archives for August, 2011

Creative Thinking

Music Lives in Another Part of the Brain

"I think it’s true of all stammerers. They can’t stammer when they sing." Carly Simon

As a child, Carly Simon suffered from stuttering, and found that singing helped. She commented, "There’s something about the mind connecting differently to the vocal cords when you apply either rhythm or melody.”

In his book “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain,” neurologist Oliver Sacks describes many of the personal and mental aspects of making and appreciating music, and writes about cases...
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Creative Thinking

Creating and Fear

After working for ten years as an actor, Karen Moncrieff became a screenwriter. In a Writers Guild magazine article, she notes “Writing felt so comfortable in a way that acting never really did. With writing, I was using all parts of myself, all of my skills.”

She wrote [and directed] her powerful film Blue Car in a way as “a reaction to films I had seen, like Stealing Beauty, a very idealized view of a girl’s coming...
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Consciousness

Developing Creativity, Intuition, Rapid Cognition

"You have to become very still and listen while your inner voice - the very essence of you - tells you who you are. You'll know you've found it when every cell in your body practically vibrates; when you're filled up by what you're doing instead of being drained by it."
– Oprah Winfrey

Many artists, as well as personal development writers and coaches extol the virtues of intuition for realizing our true selves, developing creative talents and...
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Consciousness

The Picker Sisters and Using Our Senses To Develop Creativity

For many of us writers, as well as designers and others, most of our creative work is more or less abstract, even virtual (like this blog), and involving primarily our eyes. But sculptors, furniture makers, set dressers, oil painters and others work with their senses much more. How does that impact creativity?

Curious about its name Picker Sisters, I recently saw the show (on Lifetime TV) hosted by friends and interior designers Tracy Hutson and...
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Consciousness

Just Show Up, With or Without Your Muse

How we think about the origin and development of creative abilities can have a strong impact on actually using our talents.

If we think creative expression has to wait for inspiration from a muse, or that there are only a few “chosen” geniuses with exceptional “gifts” – and think we aren’t one of those few – we may not even explore our inherent creative talents.

Author Elizabeth Gilbert ("Eat, Pray, Love") made a presentation for a...
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Creative Thinking

Investing Meaning In Our Creative Work

In the Introduction to his book The Van Gogh Blues, creativity coach and author Eric Maisel, PhD writes: "Creators have trouble maintaining meaning. Creating is one of the ways they endeavor to maintain meaning.

"In the act of creation, they lay a veneer of meaning over meaninglessness and sometimes produce work that helps others maintain meaning.

"This is why creating is such a crucial activity in the life of a creator: It is one of the ways, and...
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Creative Thinking

Creative Expression: Hard Work vs Inspiration from the Unconscious

One of the enduring ideas about creative expression is that it comes from sparks of inspiration out of our unconscious, breaking through to awareness.

A related idea is that creative "geniuses" like Mozart freely "channel" finished or almost finished notable work, that mere mortals like the rest of us can't possibly hope to do.

But New York Times op-ed writer David Brooks has pointed out, “His early compositions were nothing special. They were pastiches of other people’s work....
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Creative Thinking

Developing Creativity: Practice, Practice, Practice

One of the themes of recent books and research on talent development is that creative achievement, even genius, is less a matter of innate talent than focused practice over time - maybe a long time.

As David Brooks declared in his The New York Times op-ed essay Genius: The Modern View, "The key factor separating geniuses from the merely accomplished is not a divine spark…it’s deliberate practice.

"Top performers spend more hours (many more hours) rigorously practicing their...
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Consciousness

Marry Your Muse: An Interview with Jan Phillips

In an earlier post, I quote Jan Phillips about the inner voices that can keep us from creative work: “They’re voices we inherit along the way, from our parents, our teachers, the culture, the church – voices that say ‘I’m not smart enough, I’m not good enough, I don’t have a story worth telling, I’m not creative, I shouldn’t stand out’ – they’re all (k)nots that keep us bound up and silent.”

From Artists are...
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