Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Where does creativity come from?

I was just reading Chris Jones's blog and came across this video of Elizabeth Gilbert talking about creativity.

She talks about the process of creativity, the pressure that the label of 'genius' brings to artists and how that has often driven them towards self-destruction, ways in which people in the past have viewed creative genius as something external, and ways in which - whatever the science of creativity may tell us - it can sometimes be helpful to relate to it as coming from an external source.

It is very thought provoking and very well delivered.

I have often been struck by the common experience of many writers who describe the sensation of things coming to them as if from an external source. This does not mean they think it is really happening that way. But that is never-the-less the way it feels. This happened to me when I wrote the opening of my novel "Backlash" - it felt almost as if the words were being dictated to me. Such a shame that doesn't happen all the time! But when it does - on those rare occasions - it often brings the most memorable results.

Anyway - the video is 19 minutes long, and well worth a watch if you are interested in that kind of thing.


Anonymous said...

I have to say, I've had the same sensation from painting, and even coding...

The arts are so mysterious...

Rod Duncan said...

From coding? Well, creativity goes well beyond what we think of as the arts. I was in a Ruhi study circle - which, you may know, has to have an arts component - and we were thinking we might do some cooking to fulfil that requirement. :-)