You want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” – Stephen King As any writer with a desire to move an audience knows, you have to read, and read with depth and breadth. Not mindless web surfing and social media gawking that often leads to the evaporation of time and brain cells. For the purpose of deep learning, the exploration of novel ideas, unique idea formation, and problem solving or innovation, writers need focus. You also need time to incubate, relax, rest, and give your magnificent brain a chance to do some of the work.
Curiosity begets creativity My philippines photo editor colleague Sonia Simone calls it, “Doing cool stuff time.” Work on a hobby, learn a new language, read a book for pleasure (paper beats ebook for this), play music, or ditch the GPS and take a walk and try to get lost. It’s something Einstein dubbed combinatory play, and it’s the key that gives your brain’s “imagination network” the time to make those disparate connections that excite and surprise. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing bestselling, multi-genre New Zealand writer Steff Green and she had a great take on this. “Creativity is, more or less, a synonym for curiosity. both good and bad One definition of curiosity: “Desire to know or learn … esp. what is novel or strange; a feeling of interest leading one to inquire about anything.
There are a dozen obsolete definitions that read something like the proverb “curiosity killed the cat.” “Care or attention carried to excess or unduly bestowed upon matters of inferior moment.” – O.E.D. And if you feel stuck in some kind of filter bubble, cognitive bias feedback loop, or tsunami of cat-killing curiosity, it’s absolutely possible to jumpstart your creativity. Well-worn paths in your brain lead to breakthrough Neuroscientist Michael Grybko and I did an episode dedicated to the neuroscience of creativity: “Creativity can be improved upon. The more you try out new things, the more skills you develop, the more creative you’ll become.” “We have these thoughts in our head … electrochemical signals causing these neural networks to fire in certain ways.