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The Value of Solitude in Creativity

and more from Mason Currey on Daily Rituals

· Creativity Tools,Neuroscience

Introducing restorative techniques into our lives to enable us to be more creative is not a new idea. In Mason Currey’s ‘Daily Rituals’ he explores the fascinating and varied activities history’s greatest creatives used to enable them to get their work done. Reviewing these stories emphasised that, like us, they all had to work with the same limited resources- ‘that of time, the most limited resource of all, as well as willpower, self-discipline and optimism’.

Returning to the concept of flow, we’re reminded that our objective is to be absorbed in a state between boredom and anxiety, to enable just enough challenge to ensure we get bored, but not too bored, where the stress levels are just enough to act as a positive motivation and not push us into a state of anxiety and where this fine balance enables us to have continuous attention to the work at hand.

What we can learn about achieving creative breakthroughs by incubating ideas and letting random ideas coalesce from a surprising number of Currey’s anecdotes, is the value of spending time alone and creating inner calm through tapping into solitude, meditation and being in nature. This also enables us take advantage of restorative niches, places where we can take a breath, unwind and recharge.

Mason Currey (2013) Daily Rituals, Picador, UK.

Great piece by The Guardian