Science tells us that we’re driven by cycles, which I believe impacts our creativity. Although we can force ourselves to do almost anything, I think we do our best work at specific times of the day. For me, it’s morning. From about 6am to noon I do my best writing. After that I can do email, phone calls, meetings, or other work related tasks, but for my best writing, it has to be in the morning. Last week in London, I picked up the book “For Writers Only” by Soppy Burnham. She ran down the list of times of day when a number of great creators were at their peak:
If you’re a serious creative person, you need to find the place where you do your best work. In a coffee shop, in your bedroom, in the basement, on the patio – wherever your creative juices start flowing. For me, I need complete silence. My perfect location is probably a bank vault – no music, TV, email, or other distractions. My office is also
We don’t normally think of the bravery of creative artists these days. In other areas, while the media may consider Bruce Jenner coming out as a woman “brave,” most people reserve that honor for men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line – like soldiers, police, or firefighters. And certainly anyone else who makes the ultimate sacrifice in the service of others. But throughout history, those with creative ideas have put their lives
A number of years ago, a foundation invited my wife Kathleen and I to a private retreat at a resort in Montana to discuss the role of Christianity and the culture. There were about 12 people in the room who came from a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds. The process they used was the Socratic Method, which was developed by the philosopher Socrates (470-399 B.C.). Realizing that a society of lazy thinkers wasn’t a good thing, he devised an
While most creative artists labor in obscurity, when breakthroughs happen, those artists often get all the credit. But the truth is, in so many cases, without the financial help and personal encouragement of patrons, those breakthroughs would have never happened. Today, it simply takes
Every parent, upon hearing that a son or daughter wants to become a filmmaker, writer, musician, dancer, or other artist, feels compelled to encourage them to have a “Plan B.” “Take a business minor.” “Get your real estate license.” “Marry a doctor.” We’ve heard it so often it’s become a joke for creative people. But the truth is,
How do original thinkers think? That’s a big question. Adam Grant has done some fascinating research into the habits of original thinkers and recently shared his results at a TED Talk. If you’re a creative, or know someone who is, please share this video presentation. Every creative person in America needs to see it:
We’ve all heard so much about “passion.” People want to be passionate about their work, so they search for a career or calling they can feel passionate about. However, I’m not a big “passion” person because passion is transitory, temporary, and often shallow. It has too many ups and downs. Passion is great, but it simply won’t get you very far. So what do I recommend?