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Personal growth and the creative process March 9, 2014

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in The Creative Process.
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Some of us may have decided to include some sort of creative activity, such as writing or painting/drawing, to our program and concept of realizing our personal development potential.

If so, it is important to recognize a key principle of any creative activity if we are to avoid frustration, and then possibly giving up the idea because of a lack of progress.

We need to remind ourselves that the gateway  to enjoying any creative or artistic activity is to learn the basics first, the foundational elements.

Ian Roberts, in his book Creative Authenticity, emphasises the need for doing the groundwork in creative activities before we can expect to be truly creative in any discipline:

“I know art teachers that just want students to express themselves as if the talent and ability is inborn and if the students just gets out of the way, it will magically roll out onto the paper. But imagine having that attitude to a music lesson. If on your first class your violin teacher said, ‘now just express yourself’, you would think he or she was crazy.”

As Roberts stresses, “…if you want to express yourself, learning your craft is a good start.”

Personal growth: The danger of over-seriousness in our creative projects February 27, 2014

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in The Creative Process.
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We can take it as a “given” that initiating, building, and maintaining a program of personal growth or development requires a disciplined approach if it is to be successful. Such a personal initiative requires genuine commitment if it is to become a part of our daily life.

And yet, overdone, a deadening seriousness can settle over our attitude and subsequent efforts, which eventually can lead to a loss of energy.

A lack of playfulness or fun in our self-improvement program will diminish the likelihood of reaching our full potential in our growth plan.

This is especially true if we have included pursuing a creative interest or project as part of our program.   It’s particularly important to bring some lightness in approach and execution to the creative segment(s) of our self-improvement efforts. Indeed, perhaps to our entire program, which, being self-generated, is a creative effort in itself.

Psychiatrist and philosopher Carl Jung wrote extensively on the need for a degree of playfulness in the creative process and I’ve chosen a couple of quotations that illustrate his point:

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”

“Without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable.”