Blogging challenge: day twenty-nine

How do we get ideas? Is it true that creative thinking originates in one side of the brain? My answer is no.

It drives me crazy when people talk about left-brain and right-brain thinking, especially when they value one type of thinking over another. It’s a myth that we use one side of our brain for anything, let alone for complex activities such as having ideas.

The truth is that both sides of our brains work together to produce new ideas. While its true that different parts of the brain might be used for different functions, they are never just working away on their own.

It’s also true that creative people are not especially talented. They might just be people who understand that it’s okay to daydream and it’s okay to try things and fail. Creative people are just willing to take a few risks and try out a few ideas. They are not special, they are just like you and me.



Blogging challenge: day eighteen

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When asked about their favourite and most inspirational books, most writers are inclined to include Anne Lammott’s book “Bird by Bird” in their list. It’s one ¬†of the few writing books that I actually own.

It has good reason to be such a favourite among writers; it contains timeless advice and the kind of encouragement that most of us need to hear every once in a while.

She reminds us that not only is it okay to make mistakes, it’s actually desirable. Making mistakes is a whole lot better than not making anything at all. A person who is not making mistakes is living a sad and boring life, and not trying hard enough.

Anne is definitely a writer’s writer and there is a lovely article about her in today’s edition of Brain Pickings. If you are not subscribed to Brain Pickings and you are interested in books and writing, get on over there and subscribe. It’s free.

What’s wrong with being pedantic?

The other day someone accused me of being pedantic. I say ‘accused’ because we were engaged in a bit of a heated discussion about something at the time – I can’t remember what…

It got me wondering why being pedantic was such a bad thing? Surely it’s a good idea to be careful and accurate as you go about your daily life? I think the answer lies in whether or not you have a passion for the truth or whether you just like being right for its own sake. For me, sometimes it’s the latter.

The problem with having to be right all the time is that you tend to give yourself a really hard time when you are wrong and this is not good for being creative. The very nature of creativity demands that you try new things and that you make mistakes.

You can’t be both creative and right all the time, so go ahead, do something wrong today. The world won’t end.