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Showing posts from May, 2006

Straw Into Gold

Creativity is making something new from two old things.
It is a simple idea, isn't it?

Quality has nothing to do with it. In absolute terms, the success of an idea is whether it succeeded in being useful.
Daydreaming produces an endless stream of ideas. But, quite rightly, we usually chose to ignore most of them. We just don't have the energy. There is a natural selection process. Part of your experience as a creative person will be determining whether an idea is worth pursuing, or not. With that in mind, the discernment aspect of creativity is critical. Sometimes the choices you make will carry a concomitant element of risk. On one hand, do you risk your resources: time, money…paint on something that might fail? On the other, do you risk your resources on something lacking distinction (unoriginal)… or which just reinforces the orthodoxy of your discipline; then there is an equal risk that you will have wasted your energies.

In many cases quality is assigned in hindsight. The typo…

Progress Report

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I once dated a woman who was an occupational therapist. Her motto was "activity is therapy". The sloth in me wants to rebel against this idea. Activity sometimes is activity. The spinning of wheels. Friction and heat, but not much light. Perhaps its not even the sloth, but the voice inside that says, 'maybe you should quiet the voice inside?'. Isn't that the ideal of meditative religious forms.

Ommm.

Ummm, I just find it nigh on impossible to shut myself up.
I even find it hard to concentrate on reading without my inner dialogue drifting off at tangents, thinking about the ideas on the page. My current source of torment is a brilliant collection of essays by the British historian Ronald Wright called Short History Of Progress. Picked it up on Saturday afternoon and wasn't able to stir myself to any form of activity for the best part of Sunday. His thesis is that progress might well do us in. He points to civilisations that have vanished - The Sumerians, Easter…