What Does Creativity Feel Like?

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View from the writing nook in a castle. Dublin, Ireland. © Christy Miles

It always amuses me when researchers try to pin down the “science” of creativity. Like this Fast Company review of a new book, 7 Surprising Facts About Creativity, According to Science. There’s nothing earth shattering here – 72% of people have creative insights in the shower? Okay. What else you got?

Call me naive or childish, but…why can’t we just let creativity be magical? Can’t we just let it happen and be? Do we have to analyze it to death? I am reminded of my days at Purdue, the starry-eyed writer surrounded by logical, scientific, linear-thinking engineers. One day, sitting outside at twilight on a hot summer day between classes with an engineer friend, a huge plane flew overhead. We sat in silence, watching it pass by. I couldn’t contain myself and said, “Wow, isn’t it amazing that a huge, heavy plane can just…fly??” My engineer friend immediately began to explain aerodynamics to me in pain-staking, exacting, excruciating detail. It’s how he was wired. I get it. 🙂

But I’m not wired that way. I’m wired for wonderment. Amazement. Appreciation. Observing. Synthesizing seemingly random data, words and visuals into new and different ideas. Detecting patterns and playing with new ways of constructing and organizing them. I don’t want to understand the science of creativity. I just want to feel it. Every damn day that I’m lucky enough to be here.

So what does creativity feel like?
Here is my feeble attempt to use words to describe it. I wish I was an artist so I could show you, but even my stick figures suck. So here goes: Continue reading “What Does Creativity Feel Like?”

Want to be more creative? Be a failure!

My eight-year-old daughter has a pet cantaloupe. The errant melon appeared in our truck after a party last weekend; she discovered it in on the floor in the back seat as we were getting ready to leave. Was it a practical joke? Was it a case of mistaken vehicle? We’ll never know. But instantly, my daughter decided it would make a great pet. She named it Bob. He looks quite nice in her visor, don’t you think?

I am telling you this because taking chances–in your creative work, in your life, in business–is a tricky business, unless you are eight years old and don’t realize that no one has a pet cantaloupe or you have heaps of self-esteem and could give a hoot what people think of you. Since the only eight-year-old who reads–ok, glances at–my blog is my daughter, I’m guessing you are somewhere in between that rock and hard place.

Think about it: when was the last time you did something silly, something really out there, without needing 5-10 adult beverages first? No one likes to say, “I failed,” or

Continue reading “Want to be more creative? Be a failure!”