A bit on the poem I wrote the other day. It seems that while the first verse kinda’ came out and I just had to put them on paper, the rest of the poem didn’t work like that. For writing the rest of it, I had to think about and decide where I want to take it next, what I wanted to communicate next, and not focus on the rhymes. Doing this was almost like setting a track for my brain to operate on. Surely enough, the right words and rhymes came out to express just that which I set out to communicate.
This is a very interesting fact for me and, I think, for a lot of people interested in the topic of creativity and how it operates. You can’t just be creative in an infinite playground. Because you can do anything. Infinite potential thwarts. You can be creative only in a tight setting. Creativity is that process, or mechanism in you, or ability that you have to come up with solutions that are not obvious to the one-track mind. Let me explain a bit what I mean.
When you’re faced with a problem to solve, your one-track mind — i.e., your rational mind, or what we regularly call ‘thinking’ — will try to come up with a solution by examining, one by one, things that you know, or should I say, things that you are aware of at that moment. Whether it is true or not is another issue, but it most certainly feels that thinking is guided by awareness, by consciousness. Therefore, thinking will try to operate with things in our field of consciousness such as knowledge and things available to us through our sense perceptions. While a down-right amazing thing in itself, it is quite limited as it can only analyze and evaluate one thing, one option, one solution at a time.
What we call ‘creativity’, on the other hand, just presents you with a solution in the form of a random, out-of-nowhere thought popping in your head. And I believe this is your unconscious mind that has run tons of computations and simulations to come out with what it ‘thinks’ is the solution to your problem. It’s called creativity because it, most of the time, is something that would have taken your rational, one-track mind days, months, years to come. Heck, your whole lifetime might be insufficient for that.
I’ve heard it said — and I’m sure you have too — that creativity requires constraints. And while, sure, acute unhappiness and life-threatening, ‘limit’ situations can be forms of constraints, I guess you, like me, wouldn’t necessarily want to put yourself through this just to create an awesome painting, poem, song, movie, or whatever your creative outlet is. It seems to me, from yesterday’s experience and from reflecting upon my past moments of creativity, it is constraining enough to think of the direction in which you want to take your art, and then just let your unconscious mind do the rest.
I will experiment with this finding some more and come back with results.