creativity Archive

Review: THE GEOGRAPHY OF GENIUS by Eric Weiner

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The author of The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World’s Most Creative Places, from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley says our ideas about creativity underestimate the importance of place. But how did creative clusters arise in such varied cultures: Renaissance Florence, The Song Dynasty, Edinburgh during the

“Fallingwater: The Rock Opera”: The Collaboration of Frank Lloyd Wright and Walter Hall

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“Architecture is a study in theft,” says Gary DeVore. We’re standing in an echoing room in Port Allegheny, PA’s Lynn Hall, a building constructed in 1935 by Walter Hall, who later became the chief builder for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. For the last couple of years, Devore and his

The Ploughshares Round-Down: The Right Way to Write

As the year wraps up, I’ve been collecting articles that encourage writers to trust ourselves: To find our own practices for creativity, or shun the idea of practices altogether. To choose between quick first drafts or taking more time, based on what works in the moment. To define success case-by-case rather than comparing our work to someone else’s. These articles ask, “Is

The Ploughshares Round-Down: “Not Everything We Need Is In Ourselves”

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Creation is often imagined as inherently isolated and intimate: a Walden Pond-esque activity improved by seclusion and destroyed by wifi, phone calls, and . . . well, friends. So I’ve been thrilled this month to see a few books being celebrated for challenging the Lone Genius Myth: Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators, Joshua Wolf Shenk’s Powers

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Why You Should Plan Experiences

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It’s mid-October, and some of us are gearing up for NaNoWriMo, or NaNonWriMo. Some of us are just inspired by the changing seasons, and want to finally try some new thing we keep putting off. Or maybe we just want to actually read one of the books stacked on our nightstands. Unfortunately, we writers humans have

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Stop Chasing “Childlike Creativity”

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Earlier this month I got to spend a week leading creative writing workshops with children in the foster system, some of them as young as six-years-old. And while many of you work with six-year-olds all the time, I usually teach college students or teenagers in jail. This was challenging, hilarious, and loud. My friends

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Embracing Hard Truths About Writing

Okay writers. My last Round-Down was about the impact of self esteem on our creativity. Several readers asked for a followup about how to cultivate said esteem, and for a half-second I was so on it. But I can’t deny that the news around the world has been horrifying the last few weeks,

Walking to Write

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It should be no surprise that walking relieves stress and anxiety and increases creativity, but now a recent study at Stanford University has found that walking, even for just ten minutes, increases creativity by sixty percent. (Apparently, there was no difference between walking outside and walking on a treadmill in

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Creativity Is Neither Magic Nor Madness

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At the end of 2009, I was hunched in the passenger seat of a van, weeping down a midwest interstate. We’d just recorded an album with a Grammy-winning producer, paying for it with months of fan-funding hype. And we were touring to promote it, planning to release it ASAP,

Nine Things Writers Can Learn from (ahem) Science.

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice 3 Comments
Okay, yes. I said “science.” (I’m about to judge me, too.) But as luck would have it, I submitted this blog just as Steven Pinker‘s “Science Is Not the Enemy of Humanities” was about to go viral. Pinker and I will high-five about our uncanny timing later, but meanwhile—let’s