The Creative Gym

The Creative Gym

If one persists in doing something, in most cases, he is bound to do it right at some point. Yet, we often end up giving up because after failing, we have grown discouraged.

When we keep at something, we end up developing it. When we don’t give up, we improve. Creativity is like a muscle; when you don’t use it, a muscle atrophies. On the contrary when you do use it, not only does it not lose its tone, but it becomes more flexible, usable, stronger. The more we do something, even if we fail, the more we learn to do it.

Australian critic and poet Clive James once said, “failure has a function, it really asks you if you want to go on making things”.

Failure is an apparatus, a piece of creative gym equipment. Like going to a gym develops your muscles and fitness, so facing failure develops your creativity. Failure is one of the most effective means to refine our creative abilities because:

    1. It confronts us our hunger, desire. Are we going to keep on at this?
    2. It develops our creativity like a muscle. 
    3. It forms in us what Diego Rodriguez describes as “informed intuition”.

We all have an inborn capacity to see patterns, beauty, and recognise something on a deeper level. Yet we rarely give in to it, at the expense of our creativity. The more we use our creativity, the more we sharpen this “intuition”.

With time we become better at plugging into this “intuition”. Because of failures we better gauge its accuracy, testing its depth until we become accustomed to it. We develop this “intuition” until we can trust that “feel”, that “sense”, until it becomes “informed”. 

Slowly our intuition becomes “in-form” (as in “great form”), and that gut-feeling is no longer a “sporadic insight” but rather a developed, exercised muscle.

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