On being creative

I’ve been browsing through a very nice, small book that’s outside my usual reading territory. It’s [amazon_link id=”0262029944″ target=”_blank” ]The Storm of Creativity[/amazon_link] by Kyna Leski. The book is a reflection on the creative process – not quite a ‘how to’ but not quite not a guide either. My attention was caught by the Introduction pointing to Charles Darwin’s letters and notebooks as an illustration of the creatvie process in action. Not only am I a big Darwin fan, it’s also unusual to start off with creativity in the scientific rather than artistic arena. Having said that, many of the book’s examples are in architecture and art, although there are instances from medicine, technology, and other sciences.

[amazon_image id=”0262029944″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Storm of Creativity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life)[/amazon_image]

Two dimensions of the creative process that appeal to me particularly are attentiveness – a much under-rated quality in modern life – and making connections. Darwin, again, is the examplar of somebody who created by joining up ideas. Steve Jobs features here too – he’s quoted as saying: “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they had and synthesize new things.”

I can’t draw. I dance, but not all that well. But I can pay attention to things and make connections. There’s hope for all of us.

2 thoughts on “On being creative

  1. you cant draw or dance well but you can articulate technical ideas in plain English like you do in your books. You can teach complicated ideas in straight English but cant teach how to do it. And this gift is not given to all

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