Monday, September 13, 2010

Myths and woo

On the mind-map (hey, I'm creative, I use mind-maps!) I have already prepared for my presentation this Saturday, I have listed "Woo, myths, muses and pseudoscience" as an area I want to explore.  I guess I should get at it.

From Fast Company Magazine (6 myths about creativity):
2 Money Is a Creativity Motivator
The experimental research that has been done on creativity suggests that money isn't everything. In the diary study, we asked people, "To what extent were you motivated by rewards today?" Quite often they'd say that the question isn't relevant -- that they don't think about pay on a day-to-day basis.
3. Time Pressure Fuels Creativity
In our diary study, people often thought they were most creative when they were working under severe deadline pressure. But the 12,000 aggregate days that we studied showed just the opposite: People were the least creative when they were fighting the clock.

Fear Forces Breakthroughs
There's this widespread notion that fear and sadness somehow spur creativity. There's even some psychological literature suggesting that the incidence of depression is higher in creative writers and artists -- the de-pressed geniuses who are incredibly original in their thinking...we found that creativity is positively associated with joy and love and negatively associated with anger, fear, and anxiety. 
From LifeDev (15 widespread creativity myths):  They cover similar ground as at the link above.  They also look at the 'creatives are messy, weird people' myth and call it that.
One myth I liked, because I already planned to discuss it, was the "blank canvas" myth:
7. Structure is bad for creative thinking
Everyone likes the idea of working on a “blank canvas”. No boundaries, just limitless possibilities to start creating.
Even a blank canvas has four corners. There are always limitations to any project. Limitations shape how the project or idea will be developed. And it’s not a bad thing. Structure gives you the opportunity to think outside the box, because without structure there is no box! Just let that marinate for a bit.
The real creativity comes when you’re able to work around the structure and limitations place. Structure also ensures that the project isn’t too wide open and the scope isn’t set to broad.
There are others and I recommend giving the article a read.

At 10 Creative Myths, the "drugs will help me be more creative" idea is looked at and found...slightly, barely true.  Some drugs will lower inhibitions but others will merely make you think you are being creative.

Two of the links above have discussed creativity and memory.  My poor memory is part of why this blog exists. Dream or idea diaries are valuable tools.

There is a poetical and mystical description of the Muse here.  Taken as creative writing, it is fine.  Taken more seriously, the poem seems to describe the moment an idea is conceived.   The site states, "Energies spiral upward, inspiration is electric..."  That is as good a description of how it feels when the idea forms.  I like the idiom of the 'genius hand' that reaches out and touches you. Still, the article is full of too full of woo and superstition for me.

Similar wo can be found at Dr. Leslie Owen Wilson's Homepage.  Also on the site are acupressure points.  Also here.

No comments: