Thursday, December 10, 2009

How to become more creative? Live abroad.

According to a recent study by a professor at INSEAD, living abroad can make you more creative. I can't help but agree. Because when you're in a new culture and dealing with an unfamiliar language, you are forced to be creative every day. Little things you took for granted before will suddenly become major creative triumphs--like typing the "@" key on a German keyboard. Even getting rid of your Christmas tree can turn into a major creative event when you've missed the one tree-pickup day in your town.

I also find that living in a country that doesn't speak my language makes me want to escape to writing in my English world all the more. Writing becomes not just something I want to do, but something I have to do to keep myself sane. Since living abroad, I've become more prolific, have more ideas that ever before, and am constantly feeling inspired by the weird things that happen to me in Switzerland that just couldn't happen anywhere else.

How about you? If you live abroad, do you think you've become more creative because of it?


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  3. You are a very professional blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward more of your excellent articles.

  4. This is some very good insight into the impulses that drive us to write, and a good reminder that for authors, writing is more than just hammering at the word count of our current works in progress. I have a diary for writing down my thoughts, and use it far too seldom. I love your advice, “If you don’t want to get distracted, then write down the ideas in your diary, so you won’t waste the impulse that drives you forward.” Thanks for the reminder that this is just as important to the creativity process as developing your current plot and characters!
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