Thursday, September 10, 2009


Where would we be without creativity? Although creativity is important in the arts, it's also essential in problem solving and political strategy. We will need it if we want to accomplish any real social change.

It seems like a simple thing but creativity (as Wikipedia points out) has been studied by several branches of psychology, by people from philosophy, history, economics, design research, business, and management among other perspectives. Creativity is about flexibility, it's about new ways of seeing things.

Creativity is also something, as Richard Heinberg points out, that we have in abundance and isn't going away. (See my post on 'Peak Everything' from 7/20/08. And note, he doesn't actually say 'creativity'--he says 'ingenuity' and 'artistry'--but that sounds like creativity to me.)

Creativity can be a skill that you learn and practice. It can be a way of looking at the world and anything that comes up. And it truly is something we need more of--particularly as we are creating a simpler, more sustainable society.

Karen Kersting, "What exactly is creativity?"--An article that summarizes some of what has been learned from a psychological perspective
Karl Paulnack Welcome Address--My friend Susan (aka ethicalsusan) told me about this and it's wonderful; an explanation of the importance and essential survival value of music and the arts
Kendra Van Wagner, "How to Boost Your Creativity"--The subtitle says it all: '20 Tips from Psychology for Boosting Creativity'

I'm going to take the opportunity to list my four favorite books on writing as a creative endeavor, which I regard as a right brain (brainstorming, letting it all flow out)/left brain (editing, ruthlessly cleaning it all up) activity. My two favorite right brain books are Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down The Bones and Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird. My two favorite left brain books are Theodore Cheney, Getting the Words Right and Noah Lukeman, The First Five Pages.

Quote of the Day: "Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work." - Rita Mae Brown

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