How the brain gets creative

Posted filed underBooks, Inspiration, Videos.

Tips from Jonah Lehrer’s new bestseller ‘Imagine: How Creativity Works’: “Creativity seems to be one of the great buzzwords of our day. It litters our media landscape, full of promptings, urgings and bullet points. Who doesn’t want to be received into the ranks of the creative?

In this time of economic uncertainty, creativity is one of those great swooning words, more upbeat than “innovation” its more sober biz-speak cousin.

Economists, pundits, as well as politicos and business leaders tell us the only way to get out of our doldrums is to innovate. But how to do you innovate? You become creative. It’s as clear as a cloudy day.

Today we have a great swath of courses, pitches and books of all kind to help us in our creative endeavours, like this new bestseller (number one on the New York Times list earlier this month), Imagine: How Creativity Works, by the American journalist and author, Jonah Lehrer.

It’s a lucid and easy to read account, which actually belies the message. If you want to be creative, it’s darn hard work.

A word about Lehrer, who is a bit of a phenomenon himself.

Just 30 years old, with three books under his belt, he is a science writer who has been called a prodigy, which must be something of a first for someone in that field.

Lehrer did study neuroscience at Columbia University and by his own admission wasn’t fit or patient enough to be a great scientist. So he began to work as a journalist at Wired and now, among other places, The New Yorker and the Wall Street Journal.

As well, he’s a lively performer and talker, as you can see in the video below and this interview. ”

Jonah Lehrer: When Instincts Are Better Than Reason from Commonwealth Club on

In this book, Lehrer tells us that creativity is often the linkage between the unrelated in unexpected ways, and he has some (semi-)creative thoughts on how to get the juices going.

Among other things, he says, brainstorming doesn’t work as well as we’ve been told by our corporate team leaders, so try thinking alone.

On the other hand, tough criticism of your ideas can really help. And if you want to come up with something really new, then relax, daydream or take a shower.”

Read on at CBC

Flash Rosenberg imagines how the ideas in IMAGINE are tackled, tickled and teased-out by the author Jonah Lehrer.

direction and live-drawing by Flash Rosenberg
video edit by Lin Sorensen

IMAGINE: How Creativity Works, by Jonah Lehrer
published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt