In the May, 2013 edition of the Dutch Quest magazine, there is an article with tips on how you can create an environment that will stimulate creativity. Remarkably, these are the opposite to what I would have thought or expected beforehand.
The tips are backed up with different researches from psychologists at different universities around the world. I won’t mention the details here, just the conclusions. They all seem to come down to working slightly outside your comfort zone, so that you are distracted enough to stall the regular thinking process and make room for more creative solutions.
- Work in a noisy environment
A slightly noisy Internet café seems to create ideal creative working conditions: enough distraction to allow creativity to flow, but not enough to stop the working process. But too much noise will also have a negative effect.
- Morning person should work in the afternoon
I always thought that if I hadn’t done any creative writing by lunch time then I might as well try again the next day as I’m really a morning person and work most efficiently then. According to the article, I should do analytical projects in the morning and creative ones in the afternoon.
- Don’t relax
Apparently one shouldn’t be too relaxed when trying to be creative. So no hammocks with ocean noises in the background. Creativity is stimulated when someone is excited, either by being very happy (but not relaxed) or slightly angry. Stress, however, is bad and won’t get the creative juices flowing.
- Work for an angry boss
A boss that is too kind this seems to discourage employees from being creative. Critical bosses that get angry when things don’t go well stimulate creativity as it makes an employee feel that the assignment is important, so they well try harder. Of course, bosses that are overly critically don’t stimulate creativity. Translated to creative writing, I would say that a critical writing group stimulates creativity. A writing group that loves everything you do or are too gentle with their critique, will probably prevent you from trying your best before submitting a story.
- Move a lot
This tip felt a bit out of place as it talks about people who moved to a new country (as a child) are more creative as they had to learn to adjust to a new culture – let go of old habits and develop new ones – which stimulates creativity.
I find this point very interesting as it is what Cecile’s Writers is based on: there is something uniquely creative about intercultural people and to show this we want to publish their work.