Creativity and Research

by Chris McGinty of

I’ve always been interested in creativity, and I’ve done what I can to
research creativity over the years. Recently, I’ve had more time than I
probably want to listen to YouTube videos and podcasts while I’m at work. I’ve
started collecting as much information as I can about creativity. I’m trying to
find some super specific stuff as I go along, but it’s never a bad thing to
stop off at the super general on the way… which sounds like going to the
grocery store before a road trip. Nevermind.

I’ve found a number of people discussing the process, or the stages, of
creativity. This is the most general of the general. It’s what we do constantly
every day of our lives whether we’re working on a classically creative project,
or just making our way through life a decision at a time. The most common
version of this is five steps, and I’m going to do a blog post on each, but I
want to be clear that we move in and out of these stages in a nonlinear way. As
Ja Me Staylor says here.
Video runs from 0:00 to 0:42

There’s a joke that we writers like to tell when we’re doing anything other
than writing. “Huh? No, I’m not just playing Grand Theft Auto. I’m researching.”
The funny thing is that there is some truth in the joke. I don’t know how many
times I’ve thought I’ve wasted my night watching YouTube just to have an
amazing idea the next day. Sometimes it’s even an idea inspired by the time I
wasted the night before.
I think that learning is important. I think that being entertained is
important. We have to be honest about what we’re doing though. If you’re
actively deciding to research, take notes. Otherwise, you’re really leaving it
up to your subconscious to remind you of something you learned later. Note taking
and writing are in another phase, but like I said, and as Ja Me Staylor said
above… what? No? This is James Taylor.

James Taylor – Handy Man
Ok, I guess there can be two, but really how common of a name can it be?
This is is what Ja Me… I mean James has to say about research.

Video runs from 0:42 to 2:12
Funny enough, part of what finally got me writing this post was that I was “researching”
by hanging out on Twitter. I read Ashley Nicole’s blog post about using Reddit as a research tool. It reminded me that I wanted to examine the stages of
creativity, which I’ve clearly done. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about other
Chris McGinty is a blogger who really wishes he had more time for Grand Th…
um, research.

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