How to Be Creative in a Mad World: Thinking

Creativity involves much thought. Most of the work of writing is thinking: questioning, investigating, exploring and researching, turning the idea round and round, interrogating it from every angle.

There are many different ways to think, but if you want to be creative you must allow intuition and feeling to influence and guide your thoughts. Pure rational analysis is fine for certain activities – maths, mainly – but won’t get you far in real life. Rationality can tell you how to live: how to pay your bills and keep the wheels turning, but it can’t tell you why.

Likewise, the remembering and regurgitating of facts isn’t thinking. A well-stocked brain is all well and good, but can you do anything with all that information? What is Google for anyway?

Real thinking is about connecting and making sense of disparate facts. Creative thinking is about making connections between things in novel ways. The only way this can be done is by thinking for yourself. If you follow the crowd your creativity will be limited to the tried and tested, and what is acceptable to yourself and others, and the market.

To become fully yourself you must define yourself apart from the group; you must be willing to go out on a limb and challenge yourself, push beyond your comfort zone. You don’t know who you are until you come up against a limitation, either in yourself or in the group/culture, and have to find a way through it. This may mean leaving old parts of yourself behind as your thinking takes you into uncharted territory. Can you think against yourself?

What do you think? Share your thoughts below… Next time: Choosing

>Read the rest of the series here