If you have any favorite books on creativity, drop me a line. I always love a good recommendation. There’s a lot of sameness in material written about the creative process. Ironic, right? But every once in a while I stumble on to something a bit refreshing. Currently, I’m finding some interesting ideas in the new book "Creative Quest" - where musician, Tonight Show bandleader, designer, and all around creative - Questlove, explores the topic. He shares an interesting anecdote about a short talk with one of my favorite musicians, David Byrne. He said Byrne suggested that to grow as a creative person it often helps to figure out what you are not.
I really like that idea.
I’ve long believed that limitations can help feed the creative mind. It seems counter to the idea of the open minded freewheeling artist – but, personally, I feel too much room can lead to a lot of unexecuted ideas. Having some guiding principles helps immensely. The problem is that coming up with guiding principles TOWARDS what we want to be and achieve can sometimes be hard to define. How exactly do we come up with the plan to become something we’ve never been - or created? A good place to start might be to figure out where we don't want to finish.
What do you NOT want to be – or create?
Coming up with those answers might surprise you. Establishing these types of guide posts can help provide a direction when you find yourself in a creative rut. It’s an interesting exercise and one that I’ve had fun exploring.
As an aside, neither Byrne or Quest had a name for this process. I’m calling dibs on “Going Dobler”.