A post from Brain Pickings about 10 Rules for Creative Projects got me thinking about creativity again, during what has felt like a dry spell in the daily grind of my job.
I am very, very busy and very, very productive these days. I have multiple to-do lists, 15 or so project binders, a full meeting calendar, and stacks of unread articles and papers to get through. (Some day.) It gets overwhelming at times. The most important project I’m working on requires a good deal of coordination, organization, and planning — but it also demands creativity. So I have a lot of questions about how to resolve this apparent contradiction.
- I’m used to thinking of creativity as something that comes in the quiet times and the in-between spaces. I have none of those in the course of a regular business day. Should I take more walks around the building?
- It’s so much easier to tackle the simple to-do list items and leave the big thinking until later. Which might be too late. How can I encourage myself to feel creative when so many little un-creative tasks are looming on the horizon?
- As a freelance writer for much of my career, I’m used to assuming that being creative is a solitary act. So maybe I need to change my thinking. Of the people I work with, are there some who can stimulate my creativity? Maybe I can talk them into a walk around the building with me.
- I’m new in this job and think a lot about the impression I’m making. Is fear of taking risks and putting myself out there stifling my creativity?
- Do I need to delegate or say “no” to more activities so I can actually spend time thinking? And is it OK to just sit and think when you and everyone around you is always on deadline?
I don’t have the answers. What about you?
Here are the ten rules. Which ones resonate with you the most?
- Attempt what is not certain. Certainty may or may not come later. It may then be a valuable delusion.
- The pretty, initial position which falls short of completeness is not to be valued — except as a stimulus for further moves.
- Do search. But in order to find other than what is searched for.
- Use and respond to the initial fresh qualities but consider them absolutely expendable.
- Don’t “discover” a subject — of any kind.
- Somehow don’t be bored but if you must, use it in action. Use its destructive potential.
- Mistakes can’t be erased but they move you from your present position.
- Keep thinking about Pollyanna.
- Tolerate chaos.
- Be careful only in a perverse way.