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Creativity for creativity's sake versus applied creativity.
May 20, 2007
It's been a while. Time has zoomed by. I've thought of writing you. I'd even written a couple of drafts as ideas came into my miind. But today I'm thinking of something else, something big in my life - and in many of yours.
"Creativity for creativity's sake" versus "applied creativity". Much of Elsa's Creativity Emporium is "creativity for creativity's sake" - stories, music, even creative thinking. But for the past few months, I've been caught up in "applied creativity" projects.
I don't know how creativity works in your life. This is what's been happening in mine.
My partner and I have a vacation rental site and in fact a small vacation rental agency (Montreal, Provence, Quebec countryside). I'm the one who's been doing the site work: photography, design, layout, even much of the writing. It isn't "pure creativity" - done because I happen to feel like taking those photos, designing those displays. Yet it certainly is creative - the places differ, and I try to catch that. And then there's the opening image. The image I ended up using grabbed me - but it isn't a traditional one, so it took a while (and good feedback from a number of people) to settle on it.
I've honed creative skills developing the site. I've also had to do things quite quickly - so I've learned to make decisions more quickly.
I've also learned an enormous number of web-design skills (details skipped).
And it's been, in the main, a pleasure. I like what I've done. I'm pleased with the way things look - from the images, to the color choices, and so on.
Applied creativity is also at the heart of my teaching. To teach well, for me, is to be able to respond creatively, spontaneously, in a fresh way, to what is going on.
In general, my sense is to live well is to live creatively, whether it's bringing up children, having a good conversation, gardening, anything. I think that's why i never tire of watching nature - the budding of the trees, light and shadow.
I write articles. One can post them on various large article sites - and I have been stunned that, on NONE of these site, is creativity an area. One can post articles on new age spirituality, money making, web design, pets, personal growth and a hundred other areas - but not on creativity. One site does have creativity as a sub-category of personal growth - instead of as one of the most powerful forces inside us!
But now, like many people, I'm itching to get back to "pure creativity." That's the biggest thing that's making me want to stop the "applied creativity" - the hunger to return to my "pure creativity" projects.
Stories. A big goal for the summer: finishing Caro's Quest. It's all written - but i'd like to make some final revisions as I post it on the web.
Word pieces, such as Walking with John Lennon. There are hundreds, and I'd like to get at least 20 or 30 more on the web - including a new piece from a couple of days ago when a friend's son died. It starts, "words cannot describe ... words cannot contain ... " Words cannot contain - but words come. Words Cannot Contain.
Music, such as White Chocolate and Hot Fudge Sauce. The goal: to upload much of what I have, even as drafts, and then word on final versions - plus a new project with a couple of musicians I've worked with.
Idea pieces, such as Whose Dog Is It, Anyway? - On Pets, Ownership, Slavery. I've been thinking a lot about what makes for good thinking, creative thinking - and how that relates to creativity in general. Also, a big question: how does one get someone to see areas of their own not-so-good thinking? When I watched Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, I was struck by his saying that, when he came up against people not listening, he asked himself: how can I get through? how can I blow away the objection? An Inconvenient Truth is his answer: he has been able to make many people listen. I ask myself the same question he did - though I am not as close to an answer: how do I get through to people?
Image-making. Somehow I really like to do images - but usually for some other project.
And then, a huge goal. To put to use new things I got - a podcasting mike and a videocamera. By summer's end I want to be using them well - including to reach out with podcasting and maybe webcasting.
And you, what are your hopes, dreams, plans for the summer?
And with that,
As always, welcome into my world.
MAY 20 , 2007
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