The Language of Creativity

But…but…but we barely speak, you know, English:

Yikes! Dept: Tina Sellig & students, looking way more creative than we ever could. And that’s just appearances.

Tina Seelig: On Unleashing Your Creative Potential – by Jake Cook

Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” As we enter adulthood, we tend to self-select in, or out, of creativity. (We’ve all heard someone say, “I’m just not a creative person.”) Stanford professor Tina Seelig argues that such hard-and-fast distinctions are both inaccurate and untrue.Dr. Seelig’s latest book, inGenius: Unleashing Creative Potential, offers insights and tips from a career spent teaching both creativity and entrepreneurship. I sat down with Seelig to discuss her own rather unusual career path, the overlooked importance of physical space for big ideas, and tips on how to live a more creative life.

How do you approach the idea of creativity?
When we go to school we’re taught different “languages.” Like the language of math or music or the language of art. When you want to express your creativity, you have to figure out what language is best for what you’re trying to express. One of the things most helpful for people is having as many languages available to them as possible and then pick the ones that are the most appropriate at that time…

Any creative hacks that work for you?
One trick that has helped me: before I go to sleep at night I give myself the challenge of thinking about a certain topic I want to work on for that next day. Then I get up and write for three hours on that topic.

I rarely go to sleep without giving myself something to noodle on. Somehow there is some sort of subconscious processing going on and I usually wake up with a bunch of really good ideas.

Read it all

This article is so helpful that we’ve decided to get back into bed and reprogram our creative brain by giving it a big problem to work on while we sleep. Hear that, brain? HOW MANY ANGELS CAN DANCE ON THE HEAD OF A PIN? – THE MOVIE. We need the full screenplay when we wake up. Go!

One thought on “The Language of Creativity”

  1. I do a version of that as well. If I’m working on a script, I’ll go to bed with a specific plot hurdle in mind. So often there are roadblocks of ‘how do I connect A to C?’ — not just in a way that answers B, but in a dynamic way that adds something compelling to how the narrative unfolds.

    When awakening, the mind is still retrieving focus from its dream state. Everything is very fluid. That’s what I’m after — not really working on the problem during sleep — but revisiting it during the waking moment. I’ll let that imaginal process continue through the shower and the drive in to work. Good things often come out which I’ll continue to flesh out and then write down later in the day when the mind becomes more ‘material.’

    The best moments are when B doesn’t necessarily lead to C but to somewhere else, somewhere unexpected, off-road, and changes the narrative into something more creative and engaging than could be expected from simply constructing a road-map.

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