Friday, June 19, 2009

The 8 Habits of Highly Successful Creative People

Dina Zaman just sent me this link to an inspiring piece on writer/illustrator Keri Smith's blog.

Smith talks about how at times when she feels low, she finds herself drawn to inspiring books, mainly biographies :
...that speak of survival, triumph over adversity, and the need to create through all else.
She mentions the journals of women writers including May Sarton, Annie Dillard, Natalie Goldberg, Anais Nin, Maya Angelou and Colette, and asks herself :
How did these women find the constant courage and confidence to believe in themselves?
She believes the answer lies in the many similarities they share, and draws up a list that I think should be useful to the rest of us :
  • All possess a obvious passion for nature, a connection with something greater than themselves, many of them connect this with memories of childhood. Several bought houses in the country to encourage this.
  • There is a deliberate connection to other artists/writers/creators, a sharing of ideas, or a need to be coinspired by someone who is also creating. Creative gatherings, dinners, support groups, cafe meetings, letter writing, afternoon teas.
  • They all seem somewhat “comfortable” with solitude and have a need or at least the ability to spend quality time alone.
  • There is an capacity for self motivation, all find various ways to shift perception get a fresh perspective on the world and their lives. Inspiring walks, travel to foreign lands, learning new skills, reading, cooking, exploring,
  • All experience pain, they choose to feel it intensely. They also move triumphantly beyond it creating a well of strength from which they draw from.
  • They possess the ability to see magic in the ordinary, the gift of mindfulness.
  • All have moments of gratefulness and compassion.
  • They all do something decadent to pamper themselves regularly. May Sarton bought fresh flowers for herself every week! That nourishment theme again.


ah pong said...

on the other hand david foster wallace wrote great books, had great writer friends like jonathan franzen and then he went and killed himself.
don't do this if you're a writer. my advice to all you writers out there, if you feel a little depressed, go eat durians. it's durian season now.

Susan said...

I know what you mean (to ah pong) but David had suffered terribly from clinical depression for so long. He couldn't help himself, it wasn't just 'he went and...'

I enjoyed this post. Very much.

Good evening (or morning:) to both of you.