>both sides of the road

>I’d like to say that I figured this out a long time ago, but it has baffled me until recently. Likely you are a creative person, and likely you are so tuned into me that you already know what I am writing about (?)

Creative people are complex in that they straddle seemingly contradictory sides of the road simultaneously. Contradictory extremes. I feel more confident using this term after reading this article.

What did I learn?

** We (notice how I include myself) are smart and naive at the same time. Creative people use two opposite ways of thinking in novel ways: convergent and divergent thinking. I especially related to this: divergent thinking doesn’t lead to agreed-upon solutions but rather allows for fluidity and flexibility.

** We (I’ll go along with this as well) are both physically energetic and yet require large chunks of down time. It’s enough to drive a roommate mad, right? Strong doses of eros and yet spartan celibacy play into this as well. (. . . enough to drive a partner crazy. . .)

** Creative people are on both ends of this spectrum: playfulness and responsibility/discipline. (Dropping the “we” here, but I am so pleased to see playfulness in the same sentence with discipline.)

** Creative people are both introverted and extroverted simultaneously. (This can befuddle others. . .)

** Rebellious and conservative at the same time. (Trying to remove the “we” here, but in doing so I realize I have only made it more obvious that this applies to me rather well.)

** Scaredycat and risk taker all in one.

So read the article and you’ll feel better understood. I do. In case you miss the part about innovation for its own sake, here a quote from Eva Zeisel:

“This idea to create something is not my aim. To be different is a negative motive, and no creative thought or created thing grows out of a negative impulse. A negative impulse is always frustrating. And to be different means ‘not like this’ and ‘not like that.’ And the ‘not like’—that’s why postmodernism, with the prefix of ‘post,’ couldn’t work. No negative impulse can work, can produce any happy creation. Only a positive one.”

And for my poet friends, here is a final quote just in time for April:

“Perhaps the most important quality, the one that is most consistently present in all creative individuals, is the ability to enjoy the process of creation for its own sake. Without this trait, poets would give up striving for perfection and would write commercial jingles . . .”
~From Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit and YB Poetry Journal. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

One response to “>both sides of the road

  1. >Thanks for the article link. After reading it, I do feel better understood, and I've found every point to be pretty much true, but I never would have thought of things like convergent and divergent thinking, introvert and extrovert at the same time- all the opposites, which means we are also everything else in between- a good place to be. I also like the quote about positive impulses.

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