Monday, January 7, 2013

Thinking about Thinking

A conversation with my son has caused me to think about thinking again. It took me a long time to realize that I think differently than the people around me. Ideas come to me as a whole or as I call it  an aerial view of things. I am not a linear thinker (you must start with A to move to B, to C to get to D) in a world that basically believes that there is only linear thinking.  I also married a extremely intelligent, linear thinking man (got his degree in chemical engineering in three years and graduated third in his class).  I have come to also realize that constantly being told that I was/am "wrong" in my approach caused me to have a poor self image, an uneasy feeling that I never deserved my accomplishments and often was looked upon as being "difficult" which of course just makes me angry and hence "difficult." Is this kind of thinking more of a woman's way? C Diane Ealy, Ph.D. thinks so. She actually calls it "holistic thinking." When I discovered her book the Woman's Book of Creativity in 1995, it was such a godsend and helped set me on a healing path of acceptance. My question to you is how do you think? In school when you had to create an outline for a paper, did you write the paper then create the outline? That's what I did. How does your way of thinking effect your creativity? Because I believe it does and it part I think that is why I love the process.

11 comments:

  1. Hmm. I wrote the outline, then the paper as I found that the outline organized my thoughts better, and then essentially, my paper was written for me. But....I come from a long line of engineers, and am married to one, and dated only engineers an physicists (with the exception of one business major)....which may indicate that I am a strongly linear thinker....

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    1. So do you think that you are a linear thinker or that you have come to be one? How does this effect your creativity? Hugs, Karen

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  2. My husband and I "think" about this a lot, too.

    He is an engineer - I am not (but I have learned a great deal about being organized from him).

    We can be having a conversation - he describes "whatever it is" one way, and I describe the same thing but with completely different words! Sometimes it takes a while to find common ground.

    Impact on creativity? I tend to see the "finished" idea in my mind (or at least the vast majority of it). What I see and feel is an emotion as much as an object. I have a very hard time when people ask me what I'm working on. They're not really interested in what I feel - they want to know pattern names and terms. I don't have that information since I work improvisationally (most of the time) -- so I respond that I"m working on several different things, in various stages of evolution and leave it at that.

    p.s. I HATED doing outlines - I tended to write the paper and then create the outline to meet the teacher's requirements.

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    1. My husband has helped me about order. I always tell people that he has helped me be grounded and I have given him flight. There is no right or wrong--just understanding. Hugs, Karen

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  3. You got me thinking about My thinking, Karen.... I never did outlines until the papers were written, and rarely ever plan anything I am creating in a step by step fashion. I tend to get an idea of what the outcome should be and then try to figure out how to get there as I go.... I think that somehow that may have had it's part in my long lived creative block... I get ideas and the "how to do it" gives me trouble, and that seems to squash the ideas, leading me to giving up.... I am thinking that I need to change up how I work.... This brain doesn't work like it used to.... :)

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    1. I am trying to understand. Are you saying you don't have the skill set to create what you want to create? I can relate to that. Right now I'm a newbie at pottery. I know what I want my pieces to look like but I don't have the skill yet so I need to practice, practice, practice. I need to be gentle with myself and understand that perfection does not happen overnight. Instead I play. I have loved being a part of Arts in the Cards because I have been exposed to so many new things and it has helped me be a better artist.

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  4. Thinking...wow! When I read your post about the subject I immediately flashed back to my college years in my creative writing class and I always thought that I was backwards. You see outlines never helped me because my imagination always ran wild. I could create characters and plots without the need for an outline. Is this a bad concept? I am not too sure. Yet, I have always been a free spirit and critical of my own thinking. Even in art class...Karen, I never followed the rules in art. I did everything my way. My art teacher was very critical and difficult so I held my imagination back. As an art quilter now...I am doind things my way,and I donot care too much about what others think. I have stopped doubting myself 100%. Also, one last gift that quilting gives me is CONFIDENCE. I believe in quilting because quilting believes in me. I believe in my visions which have not been created just yet, but most of all I love creating because it feels like breathing.

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    1. You rock! Create, create, create! It's all good!

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  5. I am sure I am not linear in my thinking. I try sometimes, but my mind wants to jump around.

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  6. If I start out the morning on the computer, my creativity in the studio is more exact... If I stay away from the computer, I flow more in the studio...
    In class I did write outlines, when I was an Interior Designer, function was first and foremost, then color, placement etc... Some photos in Arch. Digest, you just know they have to have a comfy chair hidden somewhere...

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  7. Oh my, I have to find that book. You wrote my story, yes, I think the way you do and yes, I wrote the story or report first, then the outline and yes was told I was thinking wrong -- first by parents, then by teachers and then by my dear spouse -- a linear thinking lawyer. I still struggle with self esteem issues but am getting better. About time, I'm in my 70's.

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Love comments! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.