Creativity's Workshop

Taming and Training Your Creativity to Write Abundantly

Cooking for the Mind

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How do you like your food? And what does that have to do with Creativity?

Recently Jessica read a great post by Elizabeth King entitled You Cannot Sing If You Cannot Cook.

Needless to say, this tickled my fancy – and I’m willing to bet it will tickle your Creativity’s fancy as well.

Just about everyone values organization, and a big part of organization is compartmentalizing. In other words, setting aside time to walk the dog, clean the house, take the kids to school, work, pluck your eyebrows etc. This kind of scheduling and focus is important. And it has its uses in a creative setting too. Scheduling time to just create is essential.

But sometimes compartmentalizing is taken too far, especially when it comes to learning and expressing ourselves creatively.

As mentioned in Elizabeth King’s post, education tends to put subjects into their own little boxes and very rarely allow the subjects to interact – as if they’re afraid that intersecting subjects will turn on each other like Siamese fighting fish.

But I ask you, which kind of meal do you prefer? One where each ingredient (from the garlic, salt and sauces through to the individual vegetables and meat) is presented on its own? Or one where the ingredients are mixed tastefully together to create a well seasoned dish?

You picked the latter, right?

The same often works in your mind. Allowing information, subjects, experiences and skills to infuse each other results in a sensation of flavours, some of which may never have been experienced before. (And unusual flavour combinations really do work. I’m a big fan of chocolate beetroot muffins for this precise reason.)

So, when learning about a subject, do you make an effort to discover obscure connections to other things you already know? Do you allow these new points to flow into other areas of your learning and life?

A trip to a museum can reveal a significant moment in your story’s history. A better understanding of music theory can unlock a character’s hidden quirks. An introduction to the Japanese Tea Ceremony may give you the final act to your novel.

When you get an idea, do you always express it in the same way? Perhaps painting your poetry or turning your plot into music will allow your idea to ferment into something even more powerful.

Compartmentalizing your Creativity only limits what he/she is able to achieve. The best results come when you steep your Creativity in a rich and varied mixture of sensations, allowing random moments and connections to flow through his/her space. Then the possibilities become spectacular.

What about you? Have you experienced this in your life?


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