Now we have accrued several points, on both sides of the corpus callosumThat brain thing.
Divides it (another not-a-uniter). , to incorporate into, and provide the it-is-hoped sufficient conditions for, writing out of your mind. These points divide conveniently into these categories:
Use the active voice
Do not use bombast
Know your audience
Have supporting evidence
Shed functional fixity
Discerns useful novelty
Symmetry is not always granted us.
We will unpack these presently.
First, as promised, a couple of pointers, for the curious, about unlocking that self-effacing genie from her or his (or their?) right-sided bottle.
If you read the book about drawing from the right side of your brain (of course you may not yet have been conceived when it was popular, but bear with me), you may remember that the authorThat would be Betty Edwards suggested ways to 'wake up' your right brain for artistic purposes. Her suggestions include:
- You could draw with your eyes on the subject and without looking at the page.
- Or, when drawing from a photograph or something capable of inversion, try drawing it upside down. This works well with a photograph of a famous or to you well-known person.
- Or draw with your nondominant hand. This one really shakes up one's mind.
Using the nondominant hand to do anything—brush your teeth, rend your hair, paint your wagon—is not only brain-stirring, it is also good practice for any time your dominant wrist is in a cast. You never know.
Using the nondominant hand could apply particularly well to writing. It is an exercise in many ways. If you have issues (I saw a tee-shirt recently that said just that: 'I have issues.'; I liked it, Mikey, I liked it), you might try working on them by putting them on speaking terms, so to speak, on the page. Write a story from your past, or from your head. Let the left hand write one part and the right the other. Or let them talk to each other, like characters in a novel.
The point of all of these suggestions is to help you find ways to do what I am advocating, that being writing out of your mind, the whole notion really referring to using your mental all (and awl).
Are you ready now to get both sides, of brain, that is, working together? Not quite? Check your conformity dipstick.
Of all things it might be, the bedfellow of creativity is probably not going to be conformity. Conformity undermines creative powers by weking trust in the validity of one's own thought processes. Extreme conformity makes a body timid to express ideas divergent from those of his group, should he have one, and likely to defer to its dictates, regardless of the actuality of outside pressure. This is poor soil in which to root creativity.
This is not to say that, to be creative, you must become an outcast. A truly independent thinker is able to achieve a balance between self-reliance and pariahReject—the noun. -hood.
Okay, conformity in check—now what?
Behold the GestaltIf you are not yet acquainted, check it out back at 'Dream Charting'. view. It allows, as a necessary condition for creative release, a relinquishment of will.
This temporary suspension enables the interplay of reason, emotion, and under-conscious vapors. With will suspended and thus receptive, we may additionally be more ready for what has been called the hallmark of creative enterprisePosited by Jerome Bruner. : Effective surprise.
Effective surprise is briefest recognition, succeeded quickly by embrace. Connections occur where before there were none.
Things fall suddenly, sublimely into place.
But there is another aspect of the creative enterprise, and that is the freedom for you to be dominated by your creation. You begin, for example, to write a poem. The poem begins to develop its own tempo and meter, and these may even be unrelated to your original intent. If you allow it, you begin to resonate to the power of your creation.
This is a powerful and intensely personal experience, unmistakable and unforgettable, ineffable and seldom discussed. Words may not exist.
I think most people will agree, as requisites to the creative process, on initial study and final verification. It is the interval between them that, like Kashmir, is disputed. The whole argument turns on this question:
Is it possible, or is it not possible, to train and command creativity?
To my mind, the kind of thought that can be taught and evoked at will is productive thought. It is active. It produces solid, satisfying results. Productive thought leaves one content with accomplishment and replete from exertion of the will; knowledge of having comported oneself well imparts a potent satisfaction.
Sometimes, however, that very process gives rein to its own permutations—the unexpected insight, the unsolicited twist that confers new dimension. That kind of thought is creative. It is passive. It leaves one feeling singled out, affected by something external and grateful for the privilege; paradoxically, the peaceful aftermath to surrender of the will is a feeling of consumed and transcendant integration.
Inspiration cannot be summoned forth like a genie from a bottle.