Saturday, 5 December 2009

Creative Process


There's a great post on 99%, Behance's Think Tank, about the three core processes that creatives need to coordinate and incorporate in their work: routines, systems and spontaneity.

There exists a neurological reasoning behind the need for daily patterns when it comes to fostering creativity, where, Circadian rhythms of arousal and mental alertness mean that certain times of day are especially conducive to focused creative work. The effect is magnified when familiar objects, surroundings, and other stimuli become associative triggers for creative states of mind.

A case in point: Stephen King's morning routine unfolds something like this:

There are certain things I do if I sit down to write. I have a glass of water or a cup of tea. There’s a certain time I sit down, from 8:00 to 8:30, somewhere within that half hour every morning. I have my vitamin pill and my music, sit in the same seat, and the papers are all arranged in the same places. The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day seems to be a way of saying to the mind, you’re going to be dreaming soon.
- via Daily Routines

I recently read his book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, his autobiography and writing guide, which I have to say, is quite inspiring and instructive. Casting initial skepticism aside, I dove right into the book, and really enjoyed it. He demystified the novel writing process, making it feel achievable and doable.

Besides achieving a harmonious, interlocking balance between routines, systems and spontaneity, I think being surrounded (whether in real life or in pages of books or on the net) by supportive creatives, who are trying to get there or who have already gotten there, is not only beneficial, but vital. Viva la communidad creativo!

If you want to build your creative support network, check out:

The 99 Percent, focus on what happens after inspiration—researching the forces that truly push ideas forward. Our profiles of proven idea makers, action-oriented tips, best-practices sessions, and annual conference are all designed to help you transform ideas from vision to reality.

Daily Routines cull routines from books, newspapers, magazines, and Web sites, showing how artists, creatives, and other interesting people organize their days.

43 Folders: Merlin Mann’s website about ļ¬nding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Paris Interviews: Q&A encounters with the great writers of our times have come to be recognized as a sort of literary genre unto themselves: the Paris Review interview.

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