Monday, September 22, 2014

5 Secrets for Cultivating Creativity

Creativity is tough to define and tougher still to write about. I’m no expert, but I know what works for me, and likely, you know what works for you. So I thought it might be fun to see what a few famous creative people had to say about the subject. I hope one of these nuggets inspires you. I’m putting a few up on my own bulletin board pronto.  :)

 (Note:  I apologize for the wonky spacing you'll see below. It looks perfect on the "compose" page.)

To cultivate creativity:

1.  Don’t overthink.

“It’s impossible to explain creativity. It’s like asking a bird, ‘How do you fly?’ You just do.” 
                                                                 –Eric Jerome Dickey

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”
                        –Ray Bradbury

“The chief enemy of creativity is ‘good’ sense.” 
                                                                –Pablo Picasso

“Rational thoughts never drive people’s creativity the way emotions do.”
                                                                          –Neil deGrasse Tyson

2.  Stop worrying that everything you write has to be perfect.

     “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
                                                                           –Scott Adams

“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”
                                   –Edwin Land

“There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.”
                                                                    –Brene Brown

3.  Just do it.

    “Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits.”
                                                                   –Twyla Tharp

“Creativity is putting your imagination to work, and it’s produced the
most extraordinary results in human culture.”
                                   –Ken Robinson

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
                                                                           –Sylvia Plath

4.  Believe in your own unique and beautiful mind.
                    “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look 
                    at things in a different way.”

                                   –Edward de Bono

                 “Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.”
                                                                           –Bill Moyers

  “Rule of art:  Can’t kills creativity!”
                                   –Camille Paglia

5.  Trust your instincts…

“A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.”
                                                   –Frank Capra

…and let yourself go.

“Creativity makes a leap, then looks to see where it is.”
                                          –Mason Cooley

More excellent posts about creativity:

This is my last post for TeachingAuthors. I’ll miss my friends here, as well as you readers who comment to let us know you're reading (that’s always appreciated!). But I’m not disappearing entirely. I’ll be blogging at a new blog called Picture Book Builders, along with seven other published picture book authors and illustrators. Every Tuesday and Friday we'll explore one of the many, many elements that go into the making of great picture books. Hope to see you there! Check us out at


Carmela Martino said...

Love these tips and quotes, Jill! Thanks so much for sharing, and for being such a wonderful TA. We are sure going to miss you, but we wish you the best in your new endeavors!

Jill said...

Thanks, Carmela. I'll miss you all, too! Being part of T/A has been a wonderful experience. :)

michelle kogan said...

Thanks for the inspiring quotes!

April Halprin Wayland said...

This is the one I'm tacking up:
“A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.”

I have learned so much from your writing, Jill. I'll miss your conversational, relaxed and thoughtful posts.

And YOU!

Sherry Ellis said...

Love all the inspiring quotes! Thanks!

Esther Hershenhorn said...

Oh, Jill!
I shall miss reading your posts and learning from you because YOU have taught me so very much.
What fun it was being your fellow TeachingAuthor, at least for a while.
Your Success not only is deserved and well-earned: it becomes you.
Your Fan Esther

Jill said...

Thanks, Michelle and Sherry! April, that was my favorite quote, too (how weird is that?!).

I'll miss you, April, and you, too, Esther! Hope to see you REGULARLY, though, here and there.

jan godown annino said...

Lovely, Jill!

Makes me want to roll down a hill.

Jill said...

Sounds fun, Jan! :)