An article from 1959 on creativity, found at MIT Technology Review.
From The New York Times—My take: Defining how it all works is fairly inconclusive. As one doctor said, “Creativity is a perversely difficult thing to study.”
Found at 99U:
You might think that creatives as diverse as Internet entrepreneur Jack Dorsey, industrial design firm Studio 7.5, and bestselling Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami would have little in common. In fact, the tenets that guide how they – and exceptionally productive creatives across the board – make ideas happen are incredibly similar.
From Big Think:
According to The Independent, a recent Yale-Moscow State University study has found “a modest but statistically significant familiality and heritability element to creative writing.” The conclusion was based on an evaluation of writing exercises assigned to 511 children and one or both of their parents. Some may quarrel that such evaluations are inherently subjective, but I have no problems with the study’s methodology; it’s the way the results have been interpreted—at least in the press—that seems to me to miss the point entirely.
Read the whole thing.
A Chicago Tribune article titled, What if dad thinks he’s Dostoevsky, is really a book review of Fiction Ruined My Family, by Jeanne Darst. An excerpt:
Maintaining that arch, slangy tone — referring to those who suffer from seriously debilitating psychiatric maladies such as depression and alcoholism as being “nuts” — helped Darst survive. The wisecracking, ultrahip but ultimately tragic voice in “Fiction Ruined My Family” — part stand-up comedy, part “Lie Down in Darkness” — is fetching and fast and fun, and it’s only after you fully understand the trauma at the heart of her family, the neglect that bordered on child abuse, that the sadness kicks in. By then, Darst has moved on to another joke.
Family memoirs are a dime a dozen these days, but Darst’s is different because she organizes it around art and the flamboyant dreams of self-transformation that accompany it, the fortune and immortality that always seem to be just around the corner. We tend to give our creative artists license to be sullen, selfish jerks — if you doubt it, check the biographies of Ernest Hemingway or Pablo Picasso, or “Reading My Father: A Memoir” (2011) by Alexandra Styron, her solemn, anguished account of volcanic daily life with the novelist William Styron — because we believe their work is too important for them to be distracted by the petty strictures that rule the rest of us: honesty, decency, fidelity, temperance.
From Online Universities:
Whether you want to make writing your career or just want to know how to improve your writing so that you can pass your college courses, there is plenty of reading material out there to help you get inspired and hone your skills. Here’s a collection of titles that will instruct you on just about every aspect of writing, from the basics of grammar to marketing your completed novel, with some incredibly helpful tips from well-known writers themselves as well.
The Art of Learning – A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence, by Josh Waitzkin (2007)
My wonderful guitar teacher, Brian Lewis—whom I haven’t seen in months, but I still call him “my teacher”—recommended this book:
Josh Waitzkin was a boy chess genius, winning his first national championship at age nine, then was the subject of his father’s book Searching for Bobby Fischer, which was turned into a 1993 Hollywood film. Following his stellar chess career, at age nineteen he took up the martial art Tai Chi Chuan Push Hands and became world champion. It is indeed remarkable that this bright young man excelled at a world class level in two very different disciplines. He says, “I’ve come to realize that what I am best at is not Tai Chi, and it is not chess. What I am best at is the art of learning.”
Listen to this short inspiring commencement speech by college dropout Steve Jobs, CEO and founder of Apple and Pixar, at Stanford University in June 2005.
The article linked below states: “Writers do not—or at least should not—work in a vacuum. Regardless of whether or not they go to college, attend workshops or network with other professionals and hopeful professionals, they still absorb something of the world at large. These experiences ultimately mold their works, even on a subconscious level; so many creative types actively seek out other perspectives in order to add texture and dimension to their portfolios. One simple means of gaining insight involves simply picking up a book, and those by or about professionals in a desired field makes for a valuable start. The following biographies and autobiographies of influential and notable writers may not even scratch the surface of available, worthwhile reads. But they do, at least, provide a nice framework from which aspirant authors can move forward, eventually picking and choosing similar pieces relevant to their interests.” See the list here.