Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Aha! vs Just Do It! Creativity Controversy


www.UPositive.com website is up and crawling…there are some editorial changes and some additions still in process, so it won’t quite be up and running for a few more days (next week?). Please visit! Please give me feedback at Batya@UPositive.com.

The Batya Sez… shop (you can reach it through the Shop page on the website, or directly through
www.cafepress.com/UPositive is working! It needs a lot of editing, and so far has only T-shirts and mousepads for half the motivational/inspirational/slightly cynical/and just plain funny sayings that will soon be there. At some point in the near future, there will be caps and mugs, magnets and coasters, bumper stickers, and more…and nine more sayings! Check it out---get yourself or someone you know a gift…and come back often! (I don’t think the Thank-You page is connected yet, so let me say Thank You now!

The first eBook….The UPositive Guide to Goal Attainment for Creative People…is waiting for its isbn number and for me to figure out which server(?) to attach it to. So…foreseeable future!

The Aha! or Just Do It! Creativity Controversy

I’ve been joining a lot of social/business networks lately, and visiting some interesting forums. This week, one of them focused on the question of creativity and moods, or style of creativity. The musician/songwriter wondered if people thought it better to create from those moments of inspiration or from sitting down and forcing the creative act. Here’s my response, with a bit more detail than I fit in the post:

I think it's (d) all of the above.

The more you use your right brain, the more open it is to receiving input, and the more available it is to you. Although that's not quite right.

The right brain is always receiving input: sensory, emotive, whole-picture (forest-type), metaphorical. The trick is opening the path from right to left brain---bringing it into awareness and available thought (left brain). It's cleaning up, calling in the road crews, and widening the corpus callosum, which is the connector between right and left brains. The more you use it, the easier its use becomes. You want to introduce your right brain to your left brain and get them talking to each other.

Personally, I sometimes write with that sudden "Aha!" inspiration. Other times, sit me down in a nice comfy chair, with pen(cil) and paper or laptop, tell me "write!" and it happens. When I was working on Barbie fashions, I could grab a piece of material and a doll, without any preconceived idea, and just start draping. Sometimes, though, I’d walk through my workday with an image of a dress floating just behind my eyes, rush home, and execute the piece---with or without a sketch.

I realize not everyone works this way, and I'm not saying it's the best or worst way to do it---the creative process and judgment don't go well together, until you get to the Edit stage.

First---figure out your own style, and encourage it. Organize your time as best as possible around those activities or triggers that already invite your Muse in. If you write best in the morning, wake up early with your inspiration open. If you design best late at night, clear a space in your home where you won’t bother others as they sleep. Maximize what already works for you.

Then, encourage your brains to talk to each other any time, everywhere. Beckon up your Muse: invent a chant, light a candle, find a talisman---create a small ritual to call him/her present. With some repetition, this works remarkably well. The Muse, after all, comes through the right---symbolic---brain.

Practice, practice, practice. Sweep and stretch the corpus callosum, let your right and left brains sit down to coffee together regularly. Train them to pay respectful attention to each other, to inform each other of their needs.

Any other thoughts on the Aha! vs Just Do It creativity controversy?