The Problem With Books About Creativity

I'm reading two books on the topic of creativity, Creative Quest, by Questlove, and The Rise of the Creative Class, by Richard Florida. Creative Quest is a fairly recent release and it's a personal exploration of his creative process as a musician, a creator, a DJ, and other roles the Roots drummer plays. The Rise of the Creative Class has an updated second edition that was released within the past few years. It's more about the segment of our economy and labor market that is made up of creative people.

Both books have opinions on definitions of creativity, and like all books on the subject, there is more to the mystery of the thing than words can capture or articulate. It brought to mind the difference between learning about creativity and actually having creative experiences. I have some friends who have taken university-level classes on creativity, and their own creative output didn't seem to benefit from the education.

I haven't found the book on creativity yet that has actually enhanced my experience of creativity or made it more enjoyable or effective. And every time I've tried to improve my creative process, I've ended up falling back on my old familiar ways of doing things that never stopped working. Picking up the implements and trying stuff until I recognize something worth playing with remains the most reliable way to get into a creative flow.

I also question the idea of creativity on demand because, more times than not, my process hasn't resulted in something I want to finish. I mentioned the Iris Dement song, Let the Mystery Be in another video about God and faith the other day, but I think the same thing goes here. When it comes to creativity, "no one knows for certain... I just choose to let the mystery be."

All that said, I am enjoying both books for their insights into personal creativity and its contribution to our culture, economy, and way of life. Want to check them out? Help a guy out by using these affiliate links. Thanks!

The Rise of the Creative Class, by Richard Florida

Creative Quest, by Questlove

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