Actually, that's one of the first things Julia Cameron suggests in her book. Not only that, but she takes an entire chapter out to discuss how to discipline oneself to regularly make journal entries. It functions in several ways - discipline, learning openness of expression, communication, etc. Really great stuff!
And here’s one of the quotes that rings very true to me. It’s from an artist named Eva Zeisel and she's addresseing innovation for its own sake.
"This idea to create something is not my aim. To be different is a negative motive, and no creative thought or created thing grows out of a negative impulse. A negative impulse is always frustrating. And to be different means 'not like this' and 'not like that.' And the 'not like'--that's why postmodernism, with the prefix of 'post,' couldn't work. No negative impulse can work, can produce any happy creation. Only a positive one."
I’ve been trying to understand the notion of negative energy/negative impulse more fully for a few years now, and I recently had to do a bit of thinkshifting. I had originally grouped all negative energy/impulses into one huge monster category: Bad. What I’ve come to realize is that there are varying levels of negative energy and distinctly different kinds of negative impulses ranging from the relatively benign to the downright poisonous. It sounds like pure common sense, but I agree with what Eva says. I believe if we start from a negative impulse (or with negative energy) we are guaranteed to end up poisoning our efforts (and others). Maybe I need to reframe my current approach to something like destructive energy (poisonous energy?) vs. constructive/reconstructive energy (nourishing energy?)!
Steven Bell mentioned in a post on the Designing Better Libraries blog that he is looking for article proposals about creativity - including fostering creativity in the library, creative library programming, and fostering innovation. These articles are for the "Creative Library" themed issue of the Urban Library Journal. I look forward to reading the issue when it is published.
Okay, I'll be immodest and show off my pet project. As our reference e-book collection grew, I became intrigued by the idea of building a visual virtual library to house these. I tried very hard but couldn't find anyone who had done this, so I set out to build my own to cover the 120 or so most important holdings on our e-ref shelf. Originally, I was going to set the first screen to be an overhead view of our reference area, but found that most people don't fly into the library so I photographed a range of shelves as the patron would see it walking into a real library. The resulting project is now live at:
Terry, I really like your visual virtual library. I think that it makes the e-reference books more noticeable and inviting to patrons. It will be interesting to see if you have a significant increase in the use of these e-books, now.
Diane Coutu "Creativity Step by Step." Harvard Business Review 86, no. 4 (April 1, 2008): 47-51.
Available through ProQuest for those who have it.
Most people believe that creative genius is a predetermined personality trait reserved for only a gifted few. Tharp -- an award-winning choreographer who has revolutionized dance in our time -- firmly rejects that notion. "Everyone can be creative," she says, "but you have to prepare for it with routine." The winner of a MacArthur fellowship, a Tony award, and two Emmys, Tharp has been the artistic force behind her own dance company, Broadway shows, and TV productions, and has created choreography for movies (including Hair and Amadeus) and leading ballet companies around the world. In this conversation with senior editor Diane Coutu, Tharp shares her thoughts about what it takes to achieve creative breakthroughs: hardheaded practicality, discipline, and ruthlessness about the work. She is unsentimental in her advice to aspiring innovators who worry that they don't have the right stuff: Get over yourself. Get angry, throw a tantrum -- just do whatever it takes to get moving, and stop wasting time. Creativity is the result of habit, hard work, and constantly pursuing new challenges. Don't get hung up on originality or on failure; if you never fail, you'll stagnate. Mentors may help guide you to your goals, but don't choose people who will hold your hand. Choose mentors who can teach you, and invent them if you have to. In her no-nonsense way, Tharp also talks about her commitment to being uncompromising in her work, even when it exacted a price (such as forgone vacations and personal relationships) or was otherwise painful (when it involved firing extraordinary people). "It's a terrible analogy, but when it comes to your work, you have a war to win," she says. "Men are going to die.". [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]