iPhone July 2020 Wallpaper: -beginner, I thought you could beat, pummel, and thrash an idea into existence,” Ray Bradbury wrote. “Under such treatment, of course, any decent idea folds up its paws, turns on its back, fixes its eyes on eternity, and dies.” So what do you do when you have to be creative and it’s just not coming? Bradbury found away. “In my early twenties, I floundered into a word-association process in which I simply got out of bed each morning, walked to my desk, and put down any word or series of words that happened along in my head.” “T would then take arms against the word, or for it, and bring on an assortment of characters to weigh the word and show me its meaning in my own life. An hour or two hours later, to my amazement, a new story would be finished and done.” The most successful creative minds consistently lay the groundwork for ideas to germinate and evolve. They are always refining their personal approach to hijacking the brain’s neural pathways, developing a tool kit of tricks to spark the mind like flint on steel. When you’re working on a sticky problem, the solution is often disengagement. Henry Miller’s advice for other writers was to explore unfamiliar sections of the city on a bicycle. Composer Steve Reich would ride the subway, another kind of wandering.
iPhone July 2020 Wallpaper
Joel Gascoigne, the founder of Buffer, a social media sharing app, cultivates what he calls a “habit of disengagement.” In a blog post, “6 Things I Do to Be Consistently Happy,” Joel writes, “I go for a walk at 9:30 p.m., along a route which I’ve done many times before. Since the route is already decided and is the same every time, I am simply walking and doing nothing else. This prompts reflection and relaxation.” Musician and producer Brian Eno place a high premium on rest so that new connections can arise. The difficulty of always feeling that you ought to be doing something is that you tend to undervalue the times when you’re apparently doing nothing, and those are very important times. It’s the equivalent of the dream time, in your Daily life, times when things get sorted out and reshuffled. If you’re constantly awake work-wise you don’t allow that to happen. One of the reasons I have to take distinct breaks when I work is to allow the momentum of a particular direction to run down so that another one can establish itself.
Throughout his career, Eno has used a grab bag of approaches to encourage the creative process: intentionally combining disparate ideas, using unfamiliar tools, and developing an elaborate series of creative prompts. “There are lots of ways that you can interfere with it and make it more efficient,” says Eno. Sometimes embracing your limitations is the best route forward. George Harrison was staying at Sevenoaks, his parents’ bungalow in the English countryside, when he wrote his most enduring Beatles tune: wrote “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at my mother’s house in Warrington. I was thinking about the Chinese I Ching, the Book of Changes…the Eastern concept is that whatever happens is all meant to be and that there’s no such thing as coincidence—every little item that’s going down has a purpose. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was a simple study based on that theory. I decided to write a song based on the first thing I saw upon opening any book—as it would be relative to that moment, at that time. I picked up a book at random, opened it, saw “gently weeps,” then laid the book down again and started the song.
Similarly, many creative directors, designers, and architects often say their best work stems directly from specific client restrictions. Having a set of parameters puts the brain in problem-solving mode; there’s something to grip. It may seem counterintuitive, but too big a playing field can muddle the results. Frank Lloyd Wright insisted that constraints historically have resulted in a flowering of the imagination: “The human race built most nobly when limitations were greatest and, therefore, when most were required of imagination in order to build at all.” Whether or not they’re created by an outside client or you yourself, a set of limitations is often the catalyst that sets creativity free.
What about the body’s relationship to creative insight? Anecdotal evidence suggests that monitoring and replenishing your energy may well lead to greater creative output. Many of our brightest minds have used some combination of daily spiritual or physical preparation. Photographer William Wegman rides his bike as many as twenty miles a day while National Book Award winner John Irving still trains like a wrestler at age seventy.