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Themba Simelane
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Lost in my creative maze

17 April 2014, 18:19


How I get my creativity in solitude:

“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” ~Rollo May

The No. 1 Habit of Highly Creative People /

Of all the projects that I excelled in and ultimately got to complete, it was those that I had done so in my self-enclosed space. When I look back I realized that I would tend to abandon few time-wasters and with sheer focus would immerse myself at the task in hand.

In that solitude state, I found out that I could unknowingly streamline the project by cutting out on certain responsibilities even going a far as ignoring social life such as phoning or spending time with friends and families.

This solitude state of absorbed productiveness is not necessary a case of selfish endeavour, loneliness or a mistaken introverted trait but what it is a state of enjoying what you doing with absolute mindfulness.  In its manifestation, creativity in solitude is the idea of losing track of time elapse. While in this productive operating mode it is as if a creative individual knows no sense of urgency, interruptions or aware of demands of deadlines. 

This self-indulgence mode of creative immersion can be easily misinterpreted especially by those less optimistic about life as being narcissistic or seen as a disillusioned form of self-importance.


Being conscious and able to detect your creative moments will give you an advantage to harness any genius and innovate opportunity that present itself and if not understood correctly , it can be an uncontrollable and unmanageable “curse” as Lou Dorfsman had put it so beautifully with the following quote:

“Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.” ~Lou Dorfsman

Seeking to embrace the art of solitude for creativity purpose will need you to fully comprehend these underlying factors.

Creativity is Spontaneity

Creativity is for the most part spontaneous in its nature of occurrence. The absurd ideology behind creativity is that ideas will always have an impulsive, annoying tendency and the nagging habit of being disruptive to your normal routines and status quo. Spontaneity can easily make you to abandon obligations, override protocols, breach contracts, break rules, undermine authority and more so even make you ignore binding personal and family responsibilities.

·      What I personally do if I sense any idea wandering persistently inside my mind is to consciously capture and store it in my memory and attend it to it as soon as I have free time.

·      Practically if I know that I will not be in a position to attend to it as soon as possible then I simply write the idea down as it occurs and consider it at a later stage.

·      If an idea is important and need my urgent attention, I would often reshuffle my schedule so as to best manage my time and responsibilities around that particular wandering creative imagination.

Creativity is a Process

Creativity cannot be rushed. It is a process of unfolding events, revelations, flushing insights which all can be accessed consciously or subconsciously through your willpower. Just as an initial idea was born out of the spur-of the-moment, I then believe the same process of engagement on the same idea should not be formally observed with deliberate anticipation but rather with other series of spontaneous occurrences.  


Avoid the corporate tendency to overthink or brainstorm an idea by allowing other series of inspirations to pop in unexpectantly just as the initial idea came to be. Just as Albert Einstein observed that “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them” - Albert Einstein

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