Where’s My Muse?

This piece of the series is aptly placed after our interviews with creative people. It's a good reminder that everyone can be creative, not just the "elect." Creative work isn't because of a gene or some aptitude for doing interesting things. It comes out of hard, hard work. Writing a song was an interesting lens, because most musicians have hours and hours of music behind their hit songs. Creativity needs to be practiced.

Similar to what I wrote yesterday, it takes practice to develop creative work. "Hitting the nail on the head" is much more than a lucky swing - the idea has been identified, refined, expanded, and communicated effectively. My work day to day may not be creative in and of itself, but it can serve as a foundation for times when creativity is key. We need to consider our experiences and our task at hand and blend the two into something both meaningful and effective.


Scratched out lines Some stale suggestions Abstractions just aren't there. So, where to start? Creative spark shouldn't be exclusive Is it inside of me?

Where's my muse? Where's my muse?

Inspect my past, I remember that trip we took The tan lines etched into our skin. Old memories, Watching old turn new again, recollection running wild in our minds

The only thing left to do is...

Go back and check the basic components used to be creative Remix, arrange, imagine Now put the idea into action It's time for people to see Creative work is not a myst'ry

It's not a myst'ry.

It's in you as well as me.

Go back and check the basic components used to be creative Remix, arrange, imagine Now put the idea into action It's time for people to see Creative work is not a myst'ry

Original: The District Sleeps Alone Tonight by The Postal Service


As a point of explanation for each stanza, you can venture onward:

Scratched out lines Some stale suggestions Abstractions just aren’t there. So, where to start? Creative spark shouldn’t be exclusive Is it inside of me?

The first part of the article discusses the historical perspectives on creativity. "Creativity has often been thought of as an elusive and mystical force – emerging from bursts of insight available only to certain fortunate individuals." The next line explores the Greco-Roman myth of the muse and her role in inspiration. Even today, there is a view that creativity is exclusive to the elect. I thought this first stanza to be appropriate to set the background for the story; the song is more than a carrier of facts from an article. I wanted it to be whole representation of the piece.

Inspect my past, I remember that trip we took The tan lines etched into our skin. Old memories, Watching old turn new again, recollection running wild in our minds

A key component to creativity is our past experiences - both as "variations on a theme" and people with wide experiences "have richer concepts to build on, and hence the potential to see more knobs or possibilities than those with narrower foundations." This is not limited to content experiences - personal experiences can help us see content or instruction in new lights. It may be fodder for new examples and explanations, or it could be inspiration for a lesson design. The point is that experiences are holistic and can influence our creativity across disciplines.

The only thing left to do is…

Go back and check the basic components used to be creative Remix, arrange, imagine Now put the idea into action It’s time for people to see Creative work is not a myst’ry

The Heinrickson article talks about "twisting the knobs" as one of the keys to creativity, but that comes from both an understanding of what creativity is (a remix/reimagining of information) as it ties into combinatorial thinking. "...it is clear that combinatorial thinking cannot be forced or predicted, it must develop organically, determined and constrained by the unique resources that the individual brings to the creative process." We are bringing in our ability to remix, rearrange, and image situations within the scope of our experiences.

It’s not a myst’ry.

It’s in you as well as me.

Creativity isn't a magical process, it's something that we all know how to do, but we have to focus on the basic components and apply it through our lens to begin to hone the skill. History and culture help perpetuate the general feeling that someone can or can't be creative because of their genetic luck.

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