Friday, December 04, 2009

Cleese on Creativity

I started out writing a post on here about the loss of my longstanding geocities site but shifted it to the more appropriate Webitz, which is where I tend to write about Net-related things. You'll also find some info about my new website (replacing geocities) at Jimdo.

Meanwhile, I've watched a John Cleese video on creativity twice now, and find it useful for just rethinking what I know about creativity. It isn't one of his humorous ones, but it does give some sensible advice about how to be creative - even if you're a businessperson, as most of the audience in the video are.

In it he talks about the amazing way our subconscious finds solutions when our conscious mind is short of them, the need for space if you're going to be creative (and space that is itself created, rather than just grabbed), the way in which having to rewrite something you've created (if you've lost the original, say) often gives you a better work than the one you had originally, and the way in which you need freedom from interruption if you're working on anything that requires the kind of multi-tasking that a script involves (particularly in relation to writing in the 'voices' of several characters).

It's about ten minutes long, so put your feet up, stop perusing the latest catalogue of truck accessories, and check out what this man has to say.


Anonymous said...

What a good clip! "Boundaries of space; boundaries of time". He's talking about meditation, isn't he? Once upon a time I did a transcendental meditation course which taught one to go find a quiet place where there would be no interruptions. So I drove to a quiet spot and sat in my car with my eyes closed, mentally chanting a mantra. Just as I dropped into a meditational state, there was a loud knock on the car window and some well-meaning person walking their dog shouted "You alright, mate?" I don't think I've ever fully recovered from the fright! Anyway, a book well worth reading is "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind" by Dr Patrick Murphy.

Mike Crowl said...

Thanks for your comments, Keith. I'm not sure if Cleese is talking about meditation as such, though it could easily be thought so. Either way, what he has to say is good value.

Mike said...

Hi Mike, that is a great video clip - confirmed a few thoughts I've had regarding needing time to allow my thoughts to be unconstrained by a 'to do' list in order to think properly. In some ways this is what David Allen is on about with his GTD methodology (which I never manage to stick with).

You might also be interested in this interview with David Powlison:

Mike Crowl said...

Thanks for that link. Powlison seemingly works in a similar fashion to my boss, a fashion that I find frustrating to a degree, as I'm more geared towards being on time if I've promised to be, getting jobs done rather than having them hanging around. On the other hand, when I'm writing or composing, I don't think about time at all.
You might find this link about Jim Collins of interest too:
It's intriguing that both your link and this other one turned up today, when we've been discussing this issue yet again here at work.