Your Turn Challenge - Day 7: The Dance of Creativity (re-published)

I did it!  Seven days in a row of "shipping" something out to my audience. Let me say this: Thank you for coming along with me on this!  As I have mentioned over on the This Moved Me Facebook page, my Dad has been in the hospital the last several weeks - so life has been especially hectic. (He's ok!) So why on earth did I do this? Part of me knew taking on this challenge amid a health crisis and added needs outside of work was stupid/insane/crazy-making. (To be clear, there were a lot of things I didn't get done this week!) But it gave me a focus, pushed me to pay attention, to write consistently and–thanks to Twitter–"meet" lots of amazing new friends.

And, thanks to Seth Godin and his team for the inspiration and challenge. I love being a part of your tribe.

Now... I hope you don't feel this last one is cheating, as I had previously published this post in October, before I had published any podcasts... but I thought it was worth sharing again, this time to a larger audience.  Enjoy!


Dance of Creativity

Last week I listened to a fabulous TED Radio Hour podcast on creativity.  As a "creative," there was so much about this set of talks that I found intriguing. But the idea that has stuck with me the most is this:


When we are in the flow of creating, two things happen -

One, a certain area of our brain lights up. (The creative part!)

And, more importantly, another part of our brain shuts down.



This part of our brain is called the pre-frontal cortex, and it's the part of the brain that helps us understand cause and effect, impulse control - among many other things.  (As a parent, this is the part that I most want to develop in my kids - and is typically the last part to develop. Of course.)


But here's the thing: as a creative, we need to understand that if we want to really create–to push beyond the bounds of what has existed before and make something new–then we have to create a space for ourselves where any concern about what you say/how you say it/what form it takes/what anyone thinks about it (etc.!) doesn't exist. We have to turn our internal editor off. I'm not sure that's completely possible, but it begs us to think about where we create, and who we ask to join us in that space.


To turn the creative "on" - we have to turn our internal editor off! (And then, you know, turn it back on again when we're done.) The dance of creativity: creating, then editing, and back again.


I think of the incredible tightrope that improvisers walk between these two ideas; creating, on their feet, in front of an audience, working within constraints, to create something new.  Speakers who are able to be both fully present with their script, and yet open to what is happening in front of them. Being interviewed, and flexing between creating answers and filtering answers. Actors who find themselves 'in the zone' - the script a living embodiment, humanized.


If you think about it, we actually dance this particular dance all the time.



photo credit: Eddi van W. via photopin cc