Wednesday, July 3, 2013

9 Habits of Highly Creative People

This post is a paraphrase of an incredibly interesting post I read today on

That being said, I found out some new things and had some things confirmed for me.  Read all nine of them and see how many fit you!  Then, get crackin' and crank out that next book.

  1. They like noise.  A study in The Journal of Consumer Research says moderate background noise promotes creativity.  And the ideal noise is suppose to be about 70 decibels.  I don't know how loud my tv is, but I can't write unless it's droning on in the background.  And you all know where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter, don't you?  A coffee house.
  2. They like liquor.  A fun study from The Univeristy of Illinois Chicago suggests we are more
    creative when we have a drinkie.  They don't suggest we drink till we pass out.  Rather, a light drink or two decreases focus and let's our mind wander, making for some amazing story ideas and concepts.  Cheers!
  3. They distract themselves.  Staring out the window, peeling an orange, or any other mundane task again, softens our focus and allows our mind to wander and conjure.
  4. They write things out.  Longhand.  Studies have shown that we retain more information when we use our pencils than our keys.  So, beware of highly creative people armed with notepads.  Yes, we are writing about you.
  5. They don't get bogged down in routine.  Even more research studies have shown that once again, our unfocused mind gets the best ideas.  This is why we bolt upright in the middle of our sleep, pull over our cars with no warning to jot down a note, or get slammed with a brilliant story arc while in the shower.  TMI alert: the shower thing is me.  Since I write at night, I always seem to get my best ideas in the day.  And my day writers tell me the opposite is true for them.
  6. They embrace criticism.  Those nameless studies again show that social rejection fuels creativity.  For me, a rejection is like a challenge.  By Christ, I'll show them!  I'll write an even better novel!  That'll teach them to reject me.  See how that works?
  7. They surround themselves with soothing colors.  Maybe you don't know you are doing it, but
    notice how your favorite writing spot is also your favorite place to just be because the colors please you.  I sit on a green couch and green is my favorite color.  Admission: I could not find any studies on this.  Come on, peeps!  Where are all my color enthusiasts?  Fun fact:  the color green activates the pure, mental processing necessary when completing creative tasks.
  8. They pace.  A lot.  More of those insidious studies suggest that people who walk freely as opposed to a straight line, helps them think more creatively.  Um, excuse me?  I'm trying to pace around my pleasing green sofa.  I need to write this ending.
  9. (The one I did not know and intend to test) They chew on mint.  Really.  A final study shows that chewing or taking a whiff of peppermint did wonders for the creative mind.  It perks people up, improves mental concentration and agility, which means the chewer can think on his feet and she can come to conclusions quickly.  A savvy (and creative?) entrepreneur has even created a pencil that smells minty.  Hmm?  Couldn't I just use a mint-flavored toothpick sword?  
There are probably a bunch more, but this was the most interesting things I could find.  As I stated earlier, the whole article is on and if you would like to read the original, read it here:!

And let me know....what do you consider to be a hallmark of a creative person?


  1. Fascinating! Some of these are true, but I know #1, 2, and 4 don't work for me. I write better in silence, I'm allergic to alcohol, and I get frustrated with the slowness of writing in longhand when the ideas start coming. But then, if we ALL subscribed to all of these, that would be boring, wouldn't it? I'll have to check out the article.

  2. The noise part is funny. I'd rather write in silence, but I can write with noise. I write while my son practices piano (or plays video games), and sometimes I'll put headphones on and blare music to drown out whatever's going on around me so I can concentrate. But if I'm in a tough spot...if I can't think of what to write next...ugh. Give me silence or color me cranky!

  3. Patricia, I just can't write in silence. I am always reminded of that scene in Something's Gotta Give, when she writes in that lovely space facing the ocean. Maybe then I could take the silence, with just the noise of the ocean! Hey...I can dream, right?

  4. Hi Heather, I like that you wear headphones. You'll get your silence where you can! I still can't do the silence thing, but headphones might be a difference. I might try it!