book reviews, articles at the good, the true, the beautiful


My Main Page with Links to My Other Book Reviews


Understanding Those Who Create

by Jane Piirto


When it comes to arguments, this work is weaker than a cup of instant coffee you forgot to pour the coffee grounds into. Understanding Those Who Create does, however, summarize thousands of ideas in a well-organized manner.


Among the more plausible ideas herein: Having many novel ideas per unit of time enhances creativity. Brainstorming helps. Immersing yourself in excellent ideas and the cutting edges of fields helps. Creative people willingly explore uncomfortable ideas and actions, sometimes mixing and matching various ideas and styles. An artist, for example, may list elements from symbolism, surrationalism, eroticism, and kitsch, then start mixing and matching the elements. Often creative individuals take what already exists and look for ways to improve it.


Creative individuals have good reasoning and editing skills--at least in their fields. They pour effort into improving the environment--and improve their drive and inner resources. They fire themselves up when environments are unhelpful. They ask for help--often. They relentlessly think and act. Time flies for them or passes by without them noticing. Some have a strong intuitive understanding of the importance of time. They rarely think "How should I kill the next three hours?" They believe they have important things to do.


Their emotional lives are varied--and not varieties of flat, often crying tears of joy or sadness. They are curious and have high self-efficacy. They hate waiting to begin activities, and hate waiting for tomorrow so they can get back into it. They are restless, having an aesthetic sense about their work.


They create trancelike flow states. They have clear short-term and long-term goals. They seek immediate feedback. Not easily distracted, they create a good match of challenges and skills. Self-consciousness and fretting about failure are rare for them. Happiness is a by-product of their pursuits, not an ultimate goal. They see subtle humor and humor in things others do not find humorous. They are playful and reject authoritarianism. Worth browsing.


Book review article by JT Fournier, last updated 24, 2009


My Main Page with Links to My Other Book Reviews