Sunday, October 9, 2011
Recently I've been thinking a lot about the so-called "creative process," thanks to a couple books I've been reading: Gail McMeekin's "12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women" and Oriah Mountain Dreamer's "What We Ache For." Some people, and I might be one of them, claim that humans are innately creative beings. But I'm haunted by questions: why must we try so hard to complete creative acts if the creative impulse is supposed to come so naturally? And why are only some things recognized as creative while others are not?
Innovation and creativity are buzzwords in the current economy, and it appears that success depends on them. But only to a certain extent--if we actually unleash all our creative impulses, all order would disappear. With the current torrent of technological advancements, it's easy to think that our lives are becoming more mechanical and less creative. Yet, even though technology can seem like the furthest thing from creativity, it was born through a creative impulse, an inspiring idea.
For me, I struggle to come to terms with my computer; we have a love/hate relationship. Years ago, I realized how vast a resource computers can contain, yet how much a drain it was to constantly sit staring at their screens and typing on their keyboards, not to mention the other, more subtle aspects like radiation. Now, it's as if my whole existence depends on my computer, yet I often can't stand it--especially sitting there nonstop as if I'm glued to it.
Often I will have an idea that I would like to blog about, yet as soon as I turn on the computer, it's as if my creativity shuts off. I love the ease of typing but my mind shifts into another gear when I'm in front of the computer. It's difficult to maintain focus on writing alone. Then, when I try to write with pen and paper, I find the feeling so awkward, it's as if I've almost forgotten how; through all the years of typing, I'm out of practice to write by hand and the letters sometimes get mixed up as they're coming on to the page. Have I suddenly become dyslexic from all the scanning I do on the computer? I never had great penmanship to begin with, but now it's all the more worse for lack of use. It's become encrypted!
Nonetheless, my urge to contribute creatively to the world pushes me to keep trying--to strike a balance between new technologies and the primal need to document my perceptions of the world on paper or virtual page. Like the cavemen who created the first tools just so they could paint their walls with images, so too I seek to use the latest tools available to enable my feelings and thoughts to take some form beyond my own head.
I'd love to hear from you in the comments: How do you balance the benefits of technology with its costs? What's your creative process?