Understanding Creative People.
- A great deal of physical energy alternating with a great need for quiet and rest.
- Highly sexual, yet often celibate, especially when working.
- Smart and naïve at the same time. A mix of wisdom and childishness. Emotional immaturity along with the deepest insights.
- Convergent (rational, left brain, sound judgment) and divergent (intuitive, right brain, visionary) thinking…
- Both extroverted and introverted, needing people and solitude equally.
- Humble and proud, both painfully self-doubting and wildly self-confident.
- May defy gender stereotypes, and are likely to have not only the strengths of their own gender but those of the other as well. A kind of psychic androgyny.
-Juliet Bruce, summarizing the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
“Schizotypal personality can appear in a variety of forms, including magical thinking (fanciful ideas or paranormal beliefs, such as Schumann’s belief that Beethoven channeled music to him from the grave), unusual perceptual experiences (distortions in perception, such as Dickens’s belief that he was being followed by characters from his novels), social anhedonia (a preference for solitary activities—Emily Dickinson, Nikola Tesla and Isaac Newton, for example, favored work over socializing), and mild paranoia (unfounded feelings that people or objects in the environment may pose a threat, such as Hughes’s legendary distrust of others)... Cognitive disinhibition is the failure to ignore information that is irrelevant to current goals or to survival. We are all equipped with mental filters that hide most of the processing that goes on in our brains behind the scenes. So many signals come in through our sensory organs, for example, that if we paid attention to all of them we would be overwhelmed. Furthermore, our brains are constantly accessing imagery and memories stored in our mental files to process and decode incoming information. Thanks to cognitive filters, most of this input never reaches conscious awareness. There are individual differences in how much information we block out, however; both schizotypal and schizophrenic individuals have been shown to have reduced functioning of one of these cognitive filters, called latent inhibition (LI). Reduced LI appears to increase the amount of unfiltered stimuli reaching our conscious awareness and is associated with offbeat thoughts and hallucinations... Cognitive disinhibition is also likely at the heart of what we think of as the aha! experience. During moments of insight, cognitive filters relax momentarily and allow ideas that are on the brain’s back burners to leap forward into conscious awareness, in the same manner that bizarre thoughts surface in the mind of the psychotic individual. Consider this example from Sylvia Nasar’s 1998 book A Beautiful Mind, about Nobel Prize winner (and diagnosed with schizophrenia) John Forbes Nash. When asked why he believed that aliens from outer space were contacting him, he responded: “Because the ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way that my mathematical ideas did. So I took them seriously.” ...We think that the reduction in cognitive inhibition allows more material into conscious awareness that can then be reprocessed and recombined in novel and original ways, resulting in creative ideas.”—
This is a fascinating article and a pretty good theory, I think.
10 Paradoxical Traits of the Creative Personality
- Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but they’re also often quiet and at rest.
- Creative people tend to be smart yet naive at the same time.
- Creative people combine playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.
- Creative people alternate between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality.
- Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted.
- Creative people are humble and proud at the same time.
- Creative people, to an extent, escape rigid gender role stereotyping.
- Creative people are both rebellious and conservative.
- Most creative people are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.
- Creative people’s openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment.
Creative Challenge #13: Surround Yourself With Creative People
Today’s tip is one that every creative type needs to read, re-read and then probably read again.
Surround Yourself With Creative People
Over the last few years, I have been on a mission to better understand what I was made to do. It has not been an easy task, at times it has honestly felt like more trouble than it’s worth.
By the grace of God I hung in there and will continue to do so but it did not come without a few broken dreams, sleepless nights, terrible conversations, memories I wish to forget and hard moments in the mirror even when I wanted to look away.
What can I say? Growth is uncomfortable sometimes. It is also necessary if you hope to get anywhere worth going.
If I could go back and do it again, you bet I would …But not without knowing some of what I know now! Haha
Today’s tip is one that I wish I would have known when I was a lot younger. I didn’t grow up around musicians, poets, writers, actors or artists of any kind, really.
As a result, I spent a lot of my late childhood trying not to let my feelings get hurt. Most people thought I was weird. They would make fun of me and ask why I dressed a certain way or drew the things I did or wrote so much.
By middle school I was a quiet, awkward pre-teen with a lot of insecurity issues. In highschool I found an outlet in Drama, Choir, Art and performances with the various bands I played with but I was still insecure. People still thought I was weird.
Ya know what, people still think I’m weird. In fact, I think I’m weird (well, if “normal” means you’re supposed to follow like sheep or model your life after figures in popular culture). We live in such a comparison-minded world. It can really tare you apart!
But these days, being thought of as “weird” doesn’t bother me as much. Every now and again I will have those tear-filled moments where I’ll ask myself why I can’t just fit in like everyone else.
Then I snap out of it. Then I remember that I am me and they are them.
In fact, today’s tip may be what is playing a big part in bringing me out of that mindset. Having creative friends has created this wonderful bubble of love, support and encouragement that can be hard to find.
In the last couple of years, I’ve been blessed to have some very creative people in my life. They are more than mentors or teachers for me. They are better than peers and lovelier than muses. They are my friends, they are my family.
They are musicians. They are painters. They are writers. They are photographers. They are dreamers. They are deep-thinkers. They are world-changers. They are creative people.
There is nothing as special as watching someone use their gifts and talents in life. Even through the struggle of figuring out what that is and will be, they never give up. That is inspiring to me.
Being around creative people is a powerful thing. It shows me I’m not alone. It shows me what happens if I don’t give up. It challenges me to believe and hope and fight and dream for more!
If you don’t have anybody, I’m here for you! It might take some time, but you’ll find your creative people. Yours may come from other parts of the world, but that doesn’t make the impact any less powerful. Some of my dearest creative friends live in other parts of the world so don’t let that be your excuse!
Everyone has a family. Everyone has a tribe.
You’ll always have this blog and others. So any time you just need some creative inspiration, don’t be afraid to reach out!
Surround yourself with creative people. Let’s create something together, even if only a more beautiful tomorrow :)
Love life! -Sara