· Musings

Thinking alot about creativity and the mystic and myths about those who display it, where it comes from and how to get it.

Some interesting thoughts via Brain Pickings by John Cleese. See his insights at the video links below where he explores open and abstract verses closed and specific.

He says you need: Time - Space- Confidence and Humour.

What about the myths?

Creativity belongs to the geniuses
The reality: Research suggests that creative ability has far more to do with hard work and commitment than any natural ability; even for those people we call geniuses. Read Malcolm Gladwell's 'Outliers' and note the 10 000 hour rule.
Creativity is making something from nothing
The reality: Creative people are synthesisers as much as they are originators. They bring ideas together in new ways to create something new out of existing ideas. Acknowledging influences and responding to them is not weakness, it is self-awareness.
Creativity can’t be forced
The reality: The Inspirationist view holds that creativity is divinely inspired and that creative people merely act as channels for external inspiration. This view does not give the artist much credit for creativity – but doesn’t give the creative person any responsibility either.
Mental illness causes creativity

The reality: Science has found a link between mental illness and creativity in some creative industries. But that does not mean that creativity causes mental illness nor that you need to allow a mental health problem to flourish in order to be the most creative.

Drugs make you more creative
While this myth and the previous one both stem from the belief that creativity comes from extraordinary thought processes or an altered stated of mind, current research suggests that creativity has more to do with a number of ordinary thought processes and a combination of divergent (or lateral) thinking and convergent thinking.
To be creative you need to be free
Rather than hindering the process, structures actually enable creativity to occur.
Creativity belongs to the arts
Although the two words are often used interchangeably, ‘artistic’ and ‘creative’ are not the same thing. Arenas like maths, science and engineering that aren’t traditionally associated with creativity have just as much claim to the word as those that are.
Creativity is a solitary activity
Some art forms have completely exploded this myth just by the nature of the skills involved. But all creativity activity involves and relies on other people, whether that is in the manufacture of materials, those who provide advice, the foundations built by those who came before you, or those responsible for recognising products and ideas as creative.
Extrinsic motivation is detrimental to creativity
Romantic ideas of authenticity and art for arts sake have traditionally privileged intrinsic motivation over any other from of reward for artists – particularly financial. But creative people like praise, status and money as much as anyone else and many are fast tiring of the myth of intrinsic motivation being used as an excuse for undervaluing what they do financially.
To explain creativity is to damage it
If we understand how creativity works, that it is the product of cultural and social forces, and that it doesn't belong to lone geniuses but to individuals who actively participate in the process, then we can replicate that process.
Neurology, psychology,sociology and education are now contributing to a growing body of research about creative processes and one thing all the disciplines agree on is that understanding the creative process helps people be more creative.