There are 3 different classes of chaos that affect creativity: Universal, External, and Personal. Universal chaos is about finding the energy to create Something out of Nothing. External Chaos examines how life events shape us and connect us. Personal Chaos is about getting past our own doubts and fears and embracing what makes us different.
By Gina Perry. "The closest I’ve come to an explanation of the how and the why comes from the work of Hungarian-American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He calls this loss of self consciousness, this immersion in the creative process ‘the flow’. Csikszentmihalyi, whose theory is based on hundreds of interviews with artists painters and writers, found that we are likely go into the zone when we’re engaged in a task that is challenging but not overwhelming, and when we feel we’ve got the necessary skills to tackle it."
Novelist Junot Díaz, a new MacArthur Fellow, provides a number of helpful perspectives on creative expression, for any kind of artist.
“You’ve raised one of the thorniest dialectics of working, which is that you need your critical self: without it you can’t write, but in fact the critical self is what’s got both feet on the brakes of your process."
Creative people may be driven to create more and more, to keep fueling a teeming mind. But that can impede creative thinking and creative expression.
Writer Deborah Ward addresses this downside:
“I cannot write when I’ve got too much on my mind or when I feel stressed or overwhelmed from too much activity. And yet I try to force myself to write in the belief that I will feel better and more relaxed if I do. But I got it the wrong way around. Writing won’t make me feel relaxed. Feeling relaxed will make me write."
One way many talented people can be self-critical is to judge their wide-ranging serial interests as superficial or insubstantial.
Talking about the topic of her movie “Marie Antoinette,” director Sofia Coppola once commented, “You’re considered superficial and silly if you are interested in fashion, but I think you can be substantial and still be interested in frivolity.”
Are you waiting for a muse? Are you telling yourself you are not creative? Those are two of the limitations creativity author Michael Michalko addresses in his article The Seven Deadly Sins that Prevent Creative Thinking.
Seventeen years after Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette has shaken off the title of pop's queen of angst. Her new album, Havoc and Bright Lights, is a thing of joy, writes Mark Sutherland.
Morissette began to suffer anxiety attacks, including one on a long-distance flight ("If you’re going to have one, mid-air surrounded by strangers is definitely the place to have it," she deadpans). Until that point, she had often visualised various career goals; clear mental images would come to her unprompted, but once success arrived those images dried up. "I’d always had these prophetic visions of what was next. I’d see myself touring or writing a book or whatever it was. "But after Jagged Little Pill the pictures completely vanished..."
In his book Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement [ http://amzn.to/qQyPqo ], psychologist Kenneth W. Christian, PhD talks about styles or patterns of thinking and behavior that we probably developed in school, and that solidify into ruts that can limit our fulfillment, achievement and creativity.
One example is a group of people he calls Extreme Non-Risk-Takers – who "focus totally on minimizing risk in their lives… because they try to avoid situations in which they could possibly fail, they gravitate toward occupations, relationships and activities that do not present serious challenges or reflect their real interests."
I experienced some of that pattern when I failed Organic Chemistry in college, and - in addition to the blow to my self-esteem - considered it a "message" that I was not meant to be a physician. Addled adolescent thinking, more than clear judgment.
[Photo: A man walks the tightrope in a remote mountain village in Russia.] Related post: Adult Underachievement: Kenneth Christian, Ph.D. on living up to the “gifted” label – or not http://highability.org/72/
Quotes from my book "Developing Multiple Talents: The personal side of creative expression" http://t.co/KqYN0ORZ
Psychologist Ellen Langer writes that pursuing creative expression may hold the key to finding meaning and fulfillment in the rest of our lives.
She notes some of what holds people back is fear: “As much as we’d love to play the recorder or write poetry, it’s easier and safer to put it off because we are afraid of making fools of ourselves. Of course, we know we shouldn’t worry about what other people think, but we do.
“Or when we actually give writing or drawing a try, the trying turns out to be more terrifying still, and we too quickly put our creative activity aside. Something interferes with just enjoying painting or playing an instrument for the pleasure it brings us.”
"It is sometimes argued that multitasking is nothing new. For more than half a century, people grew up talking on the phone while watching TV, doing homework while listening to music, and so on. The multiple, ubiquitous information streams of early-21st-century life, however, are different in kind rather than degree. If we used to ride a cognitive horse-and-buggy, now we're in a racecar."
Related post: Multitasking is really task-switching. Some people are good at it.
Fairy tales and fables, traditions and reality through imagination. "Fairy tales and fables allows to face a wide variety of topics using the stuff that dreams are made of: desires and emotions, without barriers."
Related post: Guillermo del Toro on the power of fairytales
Psychologist Cheryl Arutt on Creative Artist Issues Shelley Carson [photo] on enhancing our creative brain Melora Hardin on acting, directing, singing James C. Kaufman, PhD on creativity research Judith Orloff,MD on Emotional Freedom Jenna Forrest on Empowering Sensitivity Stephen A. Diamond, PhD on Anger and Creativity Susan K. Perry, Ph.D. on writing
I’ve been looking into how the smallest things—things we often take for granted—can make the biggest difference in outcomes. Take the case of a small act of kindness. It turns out that simply saying something nice to someone or giving someone a little unexpected gift can create a flood of positive emotions that studies suggest increase the urge to play, push the limits, be creative, take in new experiences, learn and, ultimately, boost performance…even in the most complex of activities.
"I don’t like emotions… For some reason I’m more comfortable in imaginary circumstances." – Actor William H. Macy
One of our primary tools as a creative person is imagination. But in his book "Stumbling on Happiness" Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert proposes that imagination may directly impact our sense of happiness in limiting or distorting ways.
Meghan Daum writes in her column "Goodbye to you, Mr. Smiley" [Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2006] that the book suggests "happiness is largely an anticipatory experience… we spend much of our time not so much experiencing pleasure as thinking about future pleasure and taking steps to ensure its attainment."
“Whenever we do things that haven’t been done before, there are surprises. In many cases we call them failures. I prefer to call them “data” and to mine them to learn something interesting. This is one of the secrets of truly creative people…. They try lots of things and keep what works, using the failures as fertilizer for the next idea.”
"Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel’s voluminous The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present is a fascinating, albeit dense, examination of the interrelations between art and science."
In his book, psychiatrist Eric Kandel writes about a "vintage" artist, with comments that apply to many if not most contemporary creators: “Like other modern artists faced with the advent of photography, Klimt sought newer truths that could not be captured by the camera. He...turned the artist’s view inward — away from the three-dimensional outside world and toward the multidimensional inner self and the unconscious mind.” - From my post Unconscious Creativity, Conscious Creating http://blogs.psychcentral.com/creative-mind/2012/06/unconscious-creativity-conscious-creating/
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