Wired to Create

How can we be more creative? There is a cottage industry of seminar, books, videos, online courses and TED talks on the subject. Sadly, there is usually more heat than light. A new book on creativity offers some help:


Research into the nature of creativity has exploded the past 50 years, and scientists are finding that it’s rarely a well-defined, step-by-step process. Picasso drew 45 numbered sketches, each in multiple versions, while working on his famous painting “Guernica.”


Contrary to the well-worn notion that creativity resides in the right side of the brain, research shows that creativity is a product of the whole brain, relying especially on what the authors call the “imagination network” — circuits devoted to tasks like making personal meaning, creating mental simulations and taking perspective.

Once the idea is found, alas, the creative process begins to resemble something more like grinding execution. It’s still creative, but it requires more focus and less daydreaming — one reason highly creative people tend to exhibit mindfulness and mental wandering.

Creativity is a process that reflects our fundamentally chaotic and multifaceted nature. It is both deliberate and uncontrollable, mindful and mindless, work and play.

Read more in this New York Times article here