Reply To: Improv, creativity, and a podcast that helped me understand the process better
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In non artistic fields (although, I think at this point there is no such thing! but for the sake of argument, things like science and math) I think creativity is very important. Anytime there is a limit and you cannot always draw a straight line from A to Z, you must use creative thinking in order to solve a problem.
Here are some random thoughts from a Sunday afternoon that aren’t thought through very clearly, but jump to mind.
– In vetmed, when you need a treatment or diagnosis, but money is limited and so “best medicine” can’t be achieved. For me, this is often a tool that needs to be improvised, or it might be something that broke that needs to patched up until a part that comes in. Or it is related to some part of the anatomy that the text book neglects to say exactly how that bandage is supposed to be bandaged and due to the location and nature of the wound, you have to come up with something special exactly for that animal.
– In coding websites, sometimes the exact tool you want doesn’t exist, so you have to create a code or series of codes to accomplish something elegant. Put pieces together that work together as a whole in order to create your vision of what your website is going to look like and function.
– In teaching something like math (Calculus was my first love before finding biology and medicine, and I did a lot of tutoring) you have to know multiple ways to explain or think about something. I think that’s the frustration of adults who see a way of teaching math as fact based instead of math as a creative exercise. It IS creative. It isn’t just a series of facts to memorize. It’s understanding how numbers work, how they function in the real world, and how they relate to each other. Math and music are so similar – in both subjects you are kinda just having to jump into the middle because there isn’t really a beginning and an end. Just a whole language and system that you have to bite off one chunk at a time. Do you start by learning sound and scales, or do you learn by learning a song with fingers and then going to scales? Do you learn the scales within the scales that are actually functional within a tune, or do you learn strict scales with notes one after each other? do you play by ear and then learn how to read music or the other way around? With Math, do you learn your 1+1 and your 2-1 arthritic math, or do you learn the principles that underlye these really simple math problems first and then go back to this? There’s no right way to do it, and what you can do with music and math is only limited by your imagination, and therefore your creativity.
– every science experiment I’ve ever been part of required an inordinate amount of creativity (I used to be in research). Figuring out how to get an answer and test your hypothesis (ie the “big question” of your experiment) isn’t spelled out in any book. You are in uncharted territory and trying to adapt other people’s work and your real life experience to something that can be measured.
– Writing. There’s a million words and ways of saying something. How you choose your words, sentences, and structure of your writing is very much a creative process. Yes, grammar, spelling are what we learn in school, but there’s this other nebulous quality to writing and that is STYLE. And style and “voice” is very much creative. There’s a million “technically” right ways to write a story, but what audience are you trying to reach? How do you want lead them down the tulip path? What is your message? What will keep them reading? What is the purpose of the writing? Take any post on my blog and there is at least 5 other ways I could have written any particular post – and I often do. I’m a freelance writer that publishes in magazines as well as for my personal blog, and I often pull old posts off my blog and rewrite them for magazines. They may speak about the same subjects, but they are completely different articles because of…creativity. Working within the “limits” of my audience and the purpose of my message.
I could go on and on…but speaking of writing, I have a magazine article editorial deadline ASAP and I really should be getting this article done on EHV in horses…….LOL.