Comedian John Cleese, while attending Cambridge, discovered that he had the ability to entertain. He discovered that he could write something and make people laugh. He discovered that he was creative.
Since he was trained as a scientist, he started observing what was going on when he was creating.
In this You Tube, he touches on
- Sleeping on a problem
- Where ideas come from, and
- How to create a mood that will allow you to be more creative.
We may have heard ideas about this last item. I especially like what Cleese has to say about it.
In summary, he says we must create boundaries of space, and boundaries of time. I think most of us understand the Boundaries of Space: you hide in your office, or in the library, or in a coffee shop.
What was new for me was the Boundaries of Time. You must give yourself a start time AND a finish time.
Here’s the You Tube with highlights of his talk. It’s ten minutes long. I think it will fascinate you.
Do you have any observations about what it takes for YOU to go into a creative mode?
I swear – and I mean this seriously – but I do believe that the occasional game of Mah Jong or trip through Pinterest while I’m trying to write does the same thing as sleeping on a problem. It gives my head a little space and helps me work through a sticky bit. Those activities can also turn into completely non-productive time-wasters, but I try to strike a balance.
Thanks for posting the video, Suzanne!
I’ve seen this clip b4 but so appreciate the refresh! Thanks, Suzanne! The subconscious is an amazing instrument. What a world this would be if we only slept on more decisions, more knee-jerk responses, more flapping of angry tongues.
I LOVE John Cleese. Thank you for sharing this, and reminding me to give my creative side space to … well … create. For me, I’ve found that excercise — like walking or cycling — helps me solve problems and come up with creative solutions.
Liv – I use Solitaire and Free Cell for giving my head some space. Yes, sometimes it turns out to be a time-waster, but more often it just clears my head.
Sherry – wise words! Yes, let’s all sleep on more decisions.
Elizabeth – I too find walking helpful, although by this Thursday, I think the snow will be a problem…
Thank you all for stopping by!
I love this video, Suzanne, I just finished reading a book called The 7 Secrets of the Prolific which has been very helpful in working through some of these creative issues.
thanks for the reminder to give ourselves time and space. I forget the former, I think because I have lots of the latter.
It’s so funny that Liv commented about using things like Pinterest as a way to “sleep on it”. I use Pinterest as a way to engage another part of my brain – to focus solely on the visual and give the language part of my brain a rest. Thanks for sharing the video. So informative!
Tami – I keep hearing good things about Pinterest. I may give it a whirl.
Louise – funny how we have a problem with one or the other of Time or Space. Often when the Time is right, the Space is wrong, and vice versa.
Sheila – I just checked out that book on Amazon – The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism and Writer’s Block by Hillary Rettig. I’m reading the sample now and think I will buy it. Thx!
HI Suzanne! Your post is so timely. As you know, I’ve been feeling a bit rusty. And with “Real Life” hitting the proverbial fan, my creativity was blown out the window and I hit the wall. I plan on putting into practive many of his/your suggestions. This was very encouraging. Thanks Suzanne! 🙂
Hi Karen – I’ll bet we’re all feeling a bit rusty after the holidays. Love the holidays, but they can be such a distraction.
Everybody – You may have noticed the book Sheila referenced above. I’ve just bought it and I’m finding it very helpful.
Good luck with your Creativity!