Thursday, May 29, 2008

Creativity and fear

It's a rain delay at the French Open. Nadal is up two sets. If you've never had a chance to watch him play on clay, it's the surface that brings out his most creative moves. He's known as the "King of Clay."

I've been thinking a lot about creativity lately. Came across this article from Scientific American called "How to Unleash Your Creativity." Fear is almost always at the root of the loss of creativity. The fear of looking foolish, of failure (or of success), the fear of committing oneself to a course of action. The fear of limits.

What makes someone like Nadal be able to succeed and fail in front of millions of people, week after week? I'm going to go back and see if the rain delay is over, and perhaps I'll come closer to finding out.

Updated: Nadal soundly beat Nicolas Devilder of France in three straight sets. Something the commentator said about Nadal made me think of this post. He talked about how Nadal is "relentless" during each point. I'm pretty sure that this unwillingness to relent is key in succeeding creatively as well. Another thing that stood out during the match, this time concerning Devilder, is the aspect of hope. After not winning a game in nearly three sets, Devilder finally won one right before the end of the match. He broke out with a huge smile, and his final game was recharged, if short.

Relentlessness and hope. Two partners in continued and fruitful creativity.


Terri said...

oh yes. the fear.


i was just talking to a friend yesterday about making space for art, and when i read what you've written here it became very clear what keeps me busy with other things.

Kim Ayres said...

Laziness is at the heart of my creativity. When I really don't want to have to do something, I become very creative at finding a way out of it...

bella said...

this really stuck with me, about the fear and what it means for creativity.
I've been wondering what it is that suffocates me so much sometimes?
and it is always fear.
it gets tot he point where I'm more afraid of the fear itself, then anything else.