Tuesday, November 20

Rejection Enhances Creativity

Science: Feeling Rejected Can Help Us Access Our Creativity

A couple of days ago I wrote about how science was beginning to understand the creative process. It turns out that when you're in creative mode (for instance, when you're writing a first draft) you shouldn't edit yourself. Write whatever comes to mind and clean it up later. (See: The Nature of Creativity: Science And Writing: Don't Edit Yourself)


Rejection Enhances Creativity


Today I came across the result of a series of experiments designed to measure the effect of rejection on creativity. The researchers concluded:
While it is never a comfortable experience, the feelings of rejection can actually help us access our more creative selves. ... Moreover, we can enhance that [creative] ability by changing the way we respond to rejection. Instead of dwelling too much on the pain of being turned down or turned aside, consider the freedom you now have to explore new possibilities and less mainstream options. (How Rejection Breeds Creativity, David Burkus)
It seems that subjects who felt rejected did better of tasks requiring creative thought than subjects who felt included.

So mail off your novel, your shorts stories. If they get accepted, great! If they don't, you'll become even MORE creative. Win-win!

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Other articles you might like:
- How Often Should A Writer Blog? Answer: It Depends On Your Goals
- Donald Maass Talks About How To Make Your Readers CARE About Your Characters On The First Page
- How To Design A Great Looking Book Cover

Photo credit: "Stopped Watch" by JD Hancock under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

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