Sunday, April 6, 2014

John Updike on "What Is Creativity?"

In the Foreward of Picked-Up Pieces, John Updike shares an answer he once gave to the question, "What Is Creativity?" I loved his response so much, that I wanted to share it here.

"For one thing, creativity is merely a plus name for regular activity; the ditchdigger, dentist, and artist go about their tasks in much the same way, and any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better. Out of my own slim experience, I would venture the opinion that the artistic impulse is a mix, in varying proportions, of childhood habits of fantasizing brought on by not necessarily unhappy periods of solitude; a certain hard wish to perpetuate and propagate the self; a craftsmanly affection for the materials and process; a perhaps superstitious receptivity to the moods of wonder; and a not-often-enough-mentioned ability, within the microcosm of the art, to organize, predict, and preserve."