04 April 2009

All Over Creation

This weekend, I've been watching the 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80's on VH1. Being a product of the 80's, I have enjoyed the nostalgia. But I have also been thinking about the label of being a "one-hit wonder." Is that a positive or negative way to look at things? How amazing to create something that is loved by many people and over years and years in time. Is it a burden to then realize that you "peaked" long before your career was over?

I was reminded of this TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert. She wrote Eat, Pray, Love a few years ago. It's a book many (including me) adore. But she talks about the pressure that comes with having a hit...and people wondering what you will do next. She's been researching creativity and how it's been viewed in human history. If you have the time, I definitely recommend watching her presentation.

I am loathe to view Creativity as some sort of entity, and yet I can't deny that there does seem to be some sort of confluence of inspiration and being at the right time and in the right place that makes for a masterpiece---whether it's a one-off or one of many. Considering this, how do we best nurture the creative urges of our students?


Jenny said...

"How do we best nurture the creative urges of our students?" Wow. That's quite a big question.

The more I think about it (and I'll be thinking about it a lot more) the more concerned I am that school, as it exists now, does nothing to nurture creative urges and everything to smother them.

I'm lucky in first grade to have more freedom with my content than I had in fourth or fifth grade. But I still feel like I can't just follow where the kids lead, at least not very often. This is a huge, critical question.

Hugh O'Donnell said...

Prepare the soil, provide the nutrients, shower with pure rain...what else? Creativity will out.

Another thought...creativity comes in lots of different packages and in lots of different sizes. The only person who can judge when the creative person is "done" is the person themselves.

External expectations meant nada, but may cause an insecure creative person some angst. I'll watch the show and see what I think.

The person I most wish had written another novel is Harper Lee. How about you?

But Harper Lee is in charge of Harper Lee, and who am I to lay expectations at her door?