Creativity flows in mysterious ways, a river that rushes along unseen channels. We can perhaps reference things that stir inspiration and rouse those uncanny flashes of insight or attempt to pin down the genesis of a thought, but what causes ideas to bubble to the surface?
On the BookEnds blog, Gina Robertson offered an interesting perspective on this question. She suggested that creativity (in writing and a variety of other endeavors) springs from innate curiosity, articulating a notion that’s simmered in the back of my mind for some time.
Our interest in the unknown is what makes us dig deeper and examine the world from new angles. From inquiring minds and the desire to understand and explore, stories are born. We ask all sorts of questions, and in the weaving of answers, inspiration flows. Yet creativity also requires a certain sense of expectancy and wonder. We don’t only desire to know, we also believe that exploring new ideas will prove fascinating, an endeavor that will prove its own reward.
To wonder (to ask yourself questions or express a wish to know about something) connects directly with a sense of wonder (emotion aroused by something awe-inspiring, astounding, or marvelous). By definition, the two are linked, and they fuel each other. Our mental meanderings produce wonder, and as wonder stirs, creativity blossoms further.
This sense of curiosity also sparks enjoyment of the creative and unusual worlds crafted by others, a desire for exploration of the unknown that marks both readers and writers of speculative fiction. Curiosity compels the reading of fiction as well as the writing of it, and I’d venture to suggest that readers and writers of speculative fiction are particularly curious souls.
What do you think? What role does curiosity play in your creative processes?
Image credit: Earthwatcher