Yesterday, by happenstance, I opened my podcast app and decided to update my five podcast subscriptions.
I’m glad I did.
One of the podcasts I like to come back to from time to time is the Ted Talk Radio Hour, which is hosted by NPR (can you ever really go wrong with, NPR?).
This week’s podcast was a rebroadcast of a show that aired last October entitled, “The Source of Creativity.”
As is per usual, the show is broken into a handful of segments and rehashes key components of the TED Talk series. It’s definitely worth your time and attention.
The first segment was on the musician, Sting. I’ve always been a middle of the road fan of his solo work and a much greater fan of The Police. While that’s besides the point, it was that reason alone that I was curious enough to hear what he had to say about inception of creativity and how to overcome writer’s block.
We all struggle to come up with good ideas.
Sting gave powerful insight into an eight-year period of writer’s block. Prior, he was a hit machine, writing songs, which he admits, were solely about him and his experiences. It came to a point where he tapped out of things to say about his life experience from his vantage point.
He searched that entire time. Asking questions of his faith and of himself, “Have I said all that I am supposed to say?” This tormenting thought weighs heavy on any person of creativity.
Soon, he realized his vantage point needed to change. It was time for him to write about the people he knew, who he grew up with in Wallsend, from their perspective. Soon enough he was writing songs that took on dialects and were used as fodder for a Broadway play, The Last Ship.
Sting reminded me of what it means to be creative.
When we create, we are taking a chance. We are placing our faith in an idea that doesn’t come from the mind, but from the gut. It takes practice to embrace those creative ideas and not overthink them and a willingness to ask hard questions of yourself, like Sting did. It’s that journey and self-reflection which, if we are willing to accept, can bring us to the ideas we are looking for.
It’s also a process from which you develop powerful brands. Stepping outside yourself and looking at things from an outsider’s perspective. That’s when you truly become creative and persuasive.