Creative Slump

December 13, 2013 | 2

We have some bad news, writers. People actually dislike creative thinking. Despite how society celebrates creativity, most people are too risk averse to appreciate it, studies indicate. What’s the upside? Social rejection can bolster your creativity, but most writers probably knew that already.

is an associate editor for The Millions and an editor in Atlanta. She tweets at @temalone.


  1. Just wanted to pass along some tools that might help. Had some success advocating for simpler “plain English” with resistant groups. It helps for the creative person to either use his ability to strategize, or have a friend who can help him work on strategy. Some ideas:

    a.) (Please refer to article link) — Resilience and endurance is very important. Assume you will often find groups wed to the status quo.

    b.) Some folks are open to new ideas if they are clearly presented. Have a group of very clear, step-by-step points and be prepared to repeat them many times.

    c.) For the risk adverse, effective technique is the “inaction can be more dangerous than action” approach. Find concrete examples.

    d.) For bottom line, “it’s not in the budget” person, give him motive to change by showing in concrete way how a creative approach could improve profitability.

    e.) (Again, please refer to article link) Make friend with “The Dark Side” of human nature. Imagine your creative idea is a flower blooming through a crack in cement in stormy weather. Jealousy, power plays, etc. are forces of nature that may rain down on it. How can you protect your idea. What levers to you have. Do you know when to retreat and live to fight another day?

    Good Luck!

    Moe Murph
    Taking Decade-Long, Rather Than Short-Term Approach to Creative Success

  2. I like Moe Murph’s suggestions, particularly ‘c’, which reminds us that creativity does not always correlate with risk-taking. Much creativity and ingenuity has enhanced our safety and security.

    Jessica Olien’s SLATE article purports to tell ‘us’ about ourselves without specifying who ‘we’ are. And it relies heavily on statistical studies, one creativity’s greatest enemies. The old saying remains as true as ever, there are lies, damned lies, and…

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