Monday, February 4, 2008

Creativity as Religion?

I’ve been reading an interesting book called The Creativity Book, by Eric Maisel, Ph.D. Basically, this is a year’s worth of guided exercises designed to help people become what he calls “everyday creative people.” Now, PK and I can be pretty creative when we get down to it. We cook creatively, we garden creatively, we paint and draw and think about things a lot and in many different ways. I feel like we approach things creatively in general. As I write this, PK is in the corner drawing, creatively. But what we are thinking about more and more these days is how to bring it to the next level, and how to motivate ourselves to do so. How do we publish our writing, show our artwork, and get things to a high enough quality that people might want to look/read/eat/listen to what we have to say? How do we tune out the everyday distractions? I bought Maisel’s book thinking it would be interesting to take a more analytical approach to this idea of “everyday creative” and see if there is anything there that can take us those few steps further. One thing I like about it is the approach he takes to creativity. He emphasizes the mystery and ceremony of acts of creation, and encourages the reader to embrace creativity like a religion, to be worshipped daily in small acts. This is an interesting thing to think about, since flow experiences sound very similar to reports of profound religious experiences. I'm not particularly religious myself, but there is something appealing about thinking about creativity in a spiritual way. That said, some of the exercises seem a little silly…but I’m going to spend some time tonight thinking of five barriers to my creative progress, and maybe that’s a good start.

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