If you have ever enjoyed playing an early Nintendo arcade game, chances are you’ve enjoyed the brain fruit Japanese game designer Shigeru Miyamoto grew while soaking in the company bathtub, Chris Kohler reports for WIRED. “At night when nobody was around, you could hang out there for a long time....more
Posts Tagged: creativity
At Catapult, Rachel Vorona Cote takes readers down a path of struggle that far too many writers walk, but aren’t always able to talk about or understand. In “Black Books and Letting the Ink Dry,” Vorona Cote looks at the “paradox of the blank book”:
The paradox of the blank book is this: It invites our most intimate scribbles while its creamy, pristine pages cast doubt upon the merit of our words.
Tim Falconer writes for Hazlitt on the psychological importance of failure:
When you do what you’re good at exclusively, avoiding what you are bad at, you live in an evaluative world, one that’s full of judgement…. The danger is this becomes an inauthentic world, one that you don’t engage in for its own sake and one that’s not a lot of fun.
The idea that “mental illness is the heart of creativity” has persisted for decades. But this idea can negatively impact one’s ability to seek help that they truly need. At The Establishment, Sarah Bronson debunks the notion that treating mental illnesses like depression unilaterally has a negative impact on one’s ability to create:
I recognize that not all mental illnesses are alike and that some people actually appreciate how their illness uniquely empowers them.
You can run on and on because writing by hand does that, makes your sentences long and serpentine, like a river whose ending you don’t see until you turn the last bend.
Over at Read Her Like an Open Book, author Lily King describes her creative writing process and the reasons she handwrites her novels....more
For those who start within the establishment, professional writing is likely to correspond to drudgery, and they’ll seek to escape it. For those on the outside looking in, it’s a mark of legitimacy.
The reasons behind why writers write is arguably broken into two camps: for art and as a profession....more
At Lit Hub, editor and author Jill Bialosky examines the ways in which writing and editing work themselves out in her mind. She writes in the early morning, before tackling anything else, and then goes to work critiquing the work of other authors:
What happens when my early morning hours have extinguished and it is time to go to the workplace where I earn a living?
Creativity is an essential component of a healthy economy, and Western nations are doing a terrible job of fostering intellectual creativity. Writers, artists, and thinkers are underpaid, as developed economies have given priority to a corporate model of shareholders and profits rather than innovation....more
(n.); a cleansing medicine or preparation; (adj.) able to cleanse, especially a wound
“Art begins in a wound, an imperfection—a wound inherent in the nature of life itself—and is an attempt either to live with the wound or to heal it.”
–John Gardner, Grendel
The idea of creative expression as a healing experience has been tossed around in both artistic and non-artistic communities for as long as most of us can remember, if not longer; there have even been scientific studies to support the cleansing quality of artistic output....more
Though I did not know it then, Adeline was not just a work of fiction, or an act of literary ventriloquism. It was my suicide note. Had I succeeded in taking my life, this would have been clear.
At Lit Hub, Norah Vincent writes about the intensity of creating her Virginia Woolf novel Adeline, the link between creativity and mental illness, and how this led her to attempt taking her own life....more
(n.); an unwell feeling, particularly in the head; a moody depression; c. 1918, from Nevil Shute’s The Rose and the Rainbow
The archetype of the mad genius dates back to at least classical times, when Aristotle noted, “Those who have been eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry, and the arts have all had tendencies toward melancholia.”
—“Secrets of the Creative Brain,” Nancy C.
For the Atlantic, Cody C. Delistrarty ponders whether a person can learn to be creative, or if he or she is simply born with the trait. Framing his essay on Mary Shelley and her writing process for Frankenstein, Delistrarty presents several prevailing theories, among them that an “openness to experience” is often crucial for an artist’s work....more
Comparing cognitive tests like the Duncker Candle Problem against views of racial essentialism reveals that racists lack certain problem solving skills, reports Hazlitt:
Creativity is fundamentally the ability to recombine old ideas, moving beyond preexisting categories in order to create things that are genuinely novel.
Expensive cities are killing our creativity, argues Sarah Kendzior in an article for Al Jazeera.
Not only is it very difficult for artists to make a basic living in artistic hubs such as New York, but some are pretty much being farmed out to teach creativity to the children of the wealthy, whatever they deem “creativity” to be....more
“Great artists and original thinkers often seem instinctually drawn to the darker hours,” writes Eric Jaffe in his article “Why Creativity Thrives in the Dark.” A recent study conducted by Anna Steidel and Lioba Werth shows that there’s a reason for this trend: “when the lights switch off, something in the brain switches on.”
The idea is that dark places suggest an uninhibited freedom that loosens our thoughts, and that bright places suggest a compliance that restrains them.
“My thoughts make cohesive sense to me, yet others sometimes feel that I am contradicting myself or switching positions. What is wrong with me?”
On his website, Matthew Schuler writes about Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book where he describes nine contradictory characteristics that are often found in creative people....more