WIRED TO CREATE by Scott Barry Kaufman


Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind
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A close look at how the minds of creative people work.

“It should come as little surprise that creative people tend to have messy minds,” write the authors. “Highly creative work blends together different elements and influences in the most novel, or unusual, way, and these wide-ranging states, traits, and behaviors frequently conflict with each other within the mind of the creative person, resulting in a great deal of internal and external tension throughout the creative process.” Kaufman (Scientific Director/Imagination Institute, Positive Psychology Center/Univ. of Pennsylvania; Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, 2013, etc.) and Huffington Post senior writer Gregoire delve into different traits and characteristics that separate creative minds from the minds of others. Using quotes from well-known writers, artists, and musicians as examples and backing their statements with numerous references and scientific data, the authors break down each aspect of the creative mind into a separate chapter. They cover passion, imagination, daydreaming, solitude, intuition, openness to experience, mindfulness, sensitivity, introversion, overcoming adversity, and how the combination of some or all of the above helps creative people think differently. Creative people are willing to take risks, to be nonconformists, and to strive and fail and try again. Not only do the authors make it easy to understand how the creative mind works; they also encourage those who have any of these traits “to embrace their own paradoxes and complexities, and in doing so, open themselves up to a deeper level of self-understanding and self-expression.” For artistic people who’ve always wondered why they might not fit the norm, Kaufman and Gregoire provide some valid answers. For those curious about how writers, artists, and musicians manifest their art seemingly from nothing, the authors pull back the curtains on the fascinating world of creativity and offer a wide-ranging view of what it takes to be artistic.

Solid evidence and numerous examples show the many traits that comprise the creative mind.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-399-17410-0
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Perigee/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2015


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