Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Artful Fast Track


You’d like to crank up your creativity, right? So would I. And that’s why my blog on writing is a day late. I've spent hours reading. Searches: “Creativity” AND …

Affirmations, biofeedback, brain games, day dreams, emotions, guided imagery, hypnotism, intuitive training, meditation, mind exercises, mind science, mindfulness, self talk, visualization. I watched videos of “experts.” I checked credentials, clicked on “related links,” and made pages of notes.

Affirmations or self talk (click here to read my weblog on the subject) help you maintain a positive mindset. Don’t expect them to turn you into a Leonardo da Vinci, but they can protect you from a hard landing if you hit a slump.

“Hypnotism works.” So state the ads and the outdoor business sign of a local hypnotist. I know of people who quit smoking after one session with a hypnotist. Recently, I tried it for pain management. Despite no insurance coverage to defray the expense, I had considered my choice a better route than pain pills. Results: thumbs down for me, but it could work for someone else. If I ever have a few extra C-notes, I’d love to learn first-hand about how well hypnotism raises my level of creativity.

Susan Gold (www.susangold.net/hypnotherapyforwriters) “enjoys using hypnotherapy to help writers reach their potential and to achieve their goals.” I found her “Using Guided Imagery to Overcome Creative Blocks” interesting, but doubt I’ll check her site again.

A practicing Christian, I have reservations about Ms Gold’s use of Tarot cards to help writers discover inspiration—even if it works. In 1980-something, I read Constance Cumbey’s book, The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow,” a commentary on the New Age Movement and its practices. I've never seen a set of those cards, but prefer to avoid the tools used by tricky fortune tellers.

Along the same vein, I’m wary of growing my creative output by having conversations with imaginary animals in an envisioned forest. That is another problem solving technique Constance Cumbey railed against. Today I found it suggested in an article on how to increase intuitive/creative thought.

Mrs. Cumbey threw the baby out with the bathwater when she nixed the value of everything from simple daydreams to hypnotism. I believe guided imagery, mindfulness, visualization, and related subjects deserve investigation, for learning relaxation skills, if nothing else. Constant stress and productivity are not good partners.

Studies cited on the internet, however, deserve your skepticism. When writers with impressive degrees and high-sounding credentials quote promising statistics, look around their websites. What are they selling? Are the books offering you a stellar future truthful?

I searched. Some websites do tell the truth. We didn't become who we are in a blink. Certain mind exercises can help accelerate our creative growth. Growth is change. Therefore, there is no super charge for our creativity, because change takes time. 

© 2013, Bernice W. Simpson  

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