Creativity update: January news (& more)

We’d like to try something new for a bit, and see how it works:  with all of the new research and pondering on the Web and beyond about the nature of creativity, what sparks it, how our brains work, and what it takes to have an original thought, we’re putting together a monthly round-up of some of the most intriguing articles and resources that pop up along the way.  This first round-up goes back as far as a couple of months, but after this it will be more of a monthly thing.  See if this sparks something in your work:


Creative People’s Brains Really Do Work Differently,
by Carolyn Gregoire and Scott Barry Kaufman, Quartz, 1/4/16

Yeah, we’re weird.  But in a good way.  This article outlines an historic study from the 1960s that suggested that new thinking is more than IQ, and creative people really are an unusual bundle, and tend to fall into certain patterns.  Now that you know that feeling different is a good thing, what will you do with it?

(Photo: Avenger/Shutterstock)
More Evidence the Color Green Sparks Creativity,
by Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard, 1/12/16

What’s your favorite color?  Try to work some green in there somewhere.  (Could that have been Verdi’s secret?)

Creativity’s Underappreciated Component: Persistence,
by Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard, 1/29/16

Also from PSMag is a nudge to keep going.  When something is difficult, we tend to let ourselves off the hook.  Resist the urge, and you could well go further.  So get back in there!

Have a great idea? Here’s how to make it actually happen
by Jena McGregor – Washington Post, 1/31/16

This interview with Adam Grant, educator and author of Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, talks about how Grant came up with this follow-up to Creativity, the strategies that may help creatives find the best success, and the surprising evidence that challenges conventional wisdom.

If You Want Inspiration, You Have to Stop Working Once In a While,
Aziz Ansari
Aziz Ansari — Photo by Terry Richardson

by Eric Ravenscraft, Lifehacker, 11/18/15

This is a tough one, as once we’re “in the zone”, it’s so tempting to just keep going, and going, and going.  But we’re not mechanical bunnies, and this blogger points to an interview with comedian/writer/producer Aziz Ansari with a reminder that we all need regular breaks.  (This may be a case of “Do what I say, not what I do, but I’ll try hard if you will!)


Build something this month that only you can create, even if it’s just dinner.  Write it up.  Take a picture.  Give it some thought.  Then see where it takes you.  Original thought could become a very good habit.  Throw us a comment and let us know how it’s going!

Header photo credit:  Jurgita G. / FreeImages

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