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Old 07-16-2013, 07:55 AM   #1
kennyc
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Hmmm... Stop Reading to Spark Creativity....

Quote:
A Surprising Technique for Sparking Your Creativity
By MARGARITA TARTAKOVSKY, M.S.
Associate Editor

A Surprising Technique for Sparking Your CreativityWhenever you’re in the muck of a creativity block, your first instinct might be to run to your favorite books for rescue. To bathe in their wisdom. To let their words stir you and rouse you to create.

Whenever I’m stuck, I always turn to the books I trust most to nourish my brain when it seems barren.

Go read is wise advice to follow when you’re feeling creatively blocked or lost in life. That’s the advice you’ve probably heard from numerous teachers, mentors and countless renowned writers and artists.


In his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King stresses the importance of reading for becoming a good writer:

“… You have to read widely, constantly refining (and redefining) your own work as you do so. It’s hard for me to believe that people who read very little (or not at all in some cases) should presume to write and expect people to like what they have written, but I know it’s true. If I had a nickel for every person who ever told me he/she wanted to become a writer but ‘didn’t have time to read,’ I could buy myself a pretty good steak dinner. Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life.”

But in her beautiful book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, author Julia Cameron instructs readers to do the opposite: Don’t read. Anything. For a week.

According to Cameron, “If you feel stuck in your life or in your art, few jump starts are more effective than a week of reading deprivation.” She says that for most artists, words are akin to “tiny tranquilizers” or “greasy food.” It clogs our system, and too much of it leaves us fried.

....
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archive...ur-creativity/
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:58 AM   #2
gmw
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Thanks for the link.

Most of the advice that I've read is not that you should turn to favourite books for inspiration, the advice is generally that you should read widely. Yes, you should be familiar with your favoured genre, but don't let that blind you. Get unexpected ideas from unexpected places.

I don't doubt that reading deprivation may work for some people some of the time - for exactly the same reason that reading widely works: it expands your horizons. In the absence of reading you will seek fulfillment from other sources, movies, televisions, the world around you. It pushes you to look beyond familiar borders and that is where we are likely to find something new and interesting.

Recently, a large well known fantasy book that I didn't particularly enjoy set my mind wandering (while reading, which is never a good sign for a book) and sparked ideas that may well feed into my next project. A really cheezy disaster movie also suggested ideas for the same project. Aspects of an indie sci-fi book have had their own impact, and my reading of some classics recently has added even more possibilities. And so on. This one project is growing from ideas that have sparked from all over the place. Without that diversity of input the project would still be very sparse and probably not worth much. It would be more likely to be an emulation of what has gone before rather than something hopefully new and interesting (to me at least).
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:26 PM   #3
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Hmmm ... it is counter-intuitive, and I suppose it might work, but there's an additional factor to be considered: I like reading. And I wouldn't like not reading for a week.

Somebody else will have to tell me how it works.
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