World Creativity Week

Well hello there! I’ve been developing the concept for this new blog for the past couple of months, and it seemed appropriate to launch it during World Creativity and Innovation Week – April 15-21, leading up to Earth Day on April 22nd. I don’t know if the connection there is deliberate, but it ties into one of the main things I’ll be talking about in these pages: creativity as a key connection-point between us and the world we live in.

What is it exactly that you do here?

In general, the work posted here will fall into one of three categories (though there will doubtless be considerable crossover between them): Practical, Psychological and Philosophical.

‘Practical’ posts will concern specific techniques or tips for jumpstarting the creative process, or refining it. These may include reviews of books or other blog posts, interviews with creative people, or processes that have proven particularly fruitful for me personally.

‘Psychological’ posts will dig a bit deeper into creative blocks and fears, and try to analyze them in light of my own experience. As above there may be reviews or interviews here as well, and practical tips and techniques may be offered as well.

‘Philosophical’ posts will likely be more personal and speculative in nature and it’s this that I want to talk briefly about here. I have chosen to use the term ‘philosophical’ rather than ‘spiritual’. This is not because I don’t think that there is anything spiritual about creativity – quite the contrary, the two terms are essentially synonymous for me, and doubtless I’ll explain that in more detail as things progress.

Creative Spirituality

The topic of spirituality is rather loaded, partly because individual beliefs come into play, which is always complicated, but because the idea of ‘spiritual creativity’ carries with it a kind of Kumbaya-everything-is-wonderful connotation – just create and be free and love everyone and everything and immerse yourself in the radiant light of consciousness, something like that.

Now, I don’t have a particular problem with that as far as it goes, it’s just that I don’t think it goes particularly far. All too often, these platitudes are unexamined, devoid of real meaning, and lead nowhere. I want to go much further, aim much higher; I want to propose a deeper, more challenging but ultimately more rewarding journey into the heart of creativity.

I want to address not just the ‘creative process’ – i.e. what creative people do when they do what they do, but what creativity is, how it relates to the world we find ourselves in, and why I feel that creativity is our innate and natural state. I want to question and articulate what that means, rather than blithely accept it as an axiom – or an unexamined platitude.

The Salmon Mousse…

So, yes, philosophical – serious, thoughtful inquiry, investigation, exploration, following through to see where these words lead us. And ultimately, how these philosophical ruminations might lead us back to a better, deeper, more fulfilling, more joyful and empowered creative life. And just possibly, a better world.

(There, I said it. I think creativity is our best hope for leaving the world a better place than we found it, and I think we need to create and sustain an intellectual and cultural climate that nurtures it.)

Isn’t that what philosophy is for? Ideally, shouldn’t it at least try to offer us a better way to live? And dare we apply the same metric to creativity itself? Even artistic creativity? What can it do for us? Can it teach us something about ourselves? Can it open doors to self-knowledge, self-awareness and self-improvement that we didn’t even know were there? Can it help us treat ourselves, each other and our environment with more respect? Can it challenge us to do more, be more, live more fully?

Can creativity save the world? I hope so. Nothing else seems likely to.