I have always been creative — most people are. However, I have also always been self-reflective: I observe myself doing what I do. This means that I constantly produce creative works and improve how I do them. And I try to make the most out of it — with this site.
This site started a few years ago during my dissertation thesis in psychology. I had the opportunity to give a presentation at the 2007 “MinD-Akademie” [Mensa in Germany – Academy] “Creativity and Innovation” [German] on ways to organize creativity. It gave me a reason to collect and sort what I have learned about organizing creativity over time — because let’s face it, you need creativity and organization to actually produce creative works beyond a certain level.
The presentation was fun, but due to the limited time I could not say everything I wanted to say. So I wrote a book about it called “Organizing Creativity”. To make it available, I offered it on Lulu and Createspace and created a website. After a while, I started writing updates in the form of a blog (from May 2009 onward) and got some positive feedback (Thank you :-)). Seeing that the book was rather long-winded I started to completely rewrite the book and published a second version in March 2012, all the while posting on this blog/website on different topics.
BTW, in case you are wondering, one topic that occurs quite frequently is doing science, mostly because I worked in Academia for 8+ years (doing a PhD thesis and working as post-doc). And because I mostly learned doing scientific work the way I did learn to be creative — by trial and error. Not the best way to do so, but … let’s just say I love science and I am really interested in making sure that other beginning PhDs or PostDocs don’t fall into the same traps and sloughs that I did.
Hmm, and I have to admit, the updates are sporadic — sometimes there are a lot of updates in a few days, then it’s quiet again for a while. Reason being, I am creative and working on other projects. And sometimes, these other projects have priority. After all, I have to live from something, not to mention the usual emotional ups- and-downs.
I think I can only reiterate what I wrote (more or less) on the back of my book and in the side-bar of this site:
Creativity, deliberately creating something that is new and useful, is more than just one idea.
Whether in art, science, or for private creative projects, a good idea needs countless other ideas. An idea for a plot needs ideas for characters, settings, and dialogues, an idea for a study needs ideas for dependent variables, instructions, materials. And even private projects need to be fleshed out.
To deal with these ideas and to actually realize the projects, creativity needs an unlikely ally — organization.
On this site, we look at creativity, organization, ways to organize creativity by mastering the topic, generating ideas, capturing ideas, collecting ideas, realizing creative projects, and archiving ideas, and at tools, general tips, and resources.
This site aims to enlarge your options when working in science (incl. engineering and commercial projects), art, or on private projects to improve the chance of realizing creative projects. The focus is on creating the infrastructure for having ideas and realizing them.
I hope you find something of use here — and as always, I appreciate a comment. After all, feedback is the life-blood of an author.
Note 1: This blog/book is essentially a just-for-fun project of mine. I love to create and I think some thoughts and tips might be helpful for others. Besides, taking a meta-level is very helpful for me to reflect on my creativity to improve it. Professionally, I am a scientist (a highly creative job in its own right). More on my professional work and what I stand for as a scientist on my semi-professional website.
Note 2: If you think that this site is not very professional, due to its design or topic, you are right. It is not very professional, because this is not my work persona. I take the topic seriously, but this is a private project — which gives me much more liberties in content and style than otherwise possible. You get a look into my private life here, something that is rarely possible for strangers (prior to social networking sites, that is). We, as a society, are still learning to deal with this kind of access, not hiring, for example, people due to their “bad judgment” on social networking sites, when in fact this is just their private life that everyone has, yet that is seldom seen by colleagues or HR managers. So, don’t be taken aback by the content here — I do not hide my interests or my skills, and I am pretty sure that many “respectable” people have things you’d be … “surprised” to see.
Note 3 (Disclaimer): I’m very interested in other ways to organize creativity and work methods in general. If you know some cool tricks/tips/software/tools, I’m happy to hear about it ( danwessel at organizingcreativity dot com ). However, I don’t accept free review trials from vendors or companies. If I have the time and interest to check something out, I either buy it myself or use the free trial period (if available). Otherwise, I would find it difficult to deal with this conflict of interest and I like to keep my independence. Also I think the best way to support an author/creator is to give an honest and fair review and buy the product for yourself.
Anyway, have fun. 🙂
I discovered your blog initially looking for DevonThink tagging assistance and a reference to your book came up. Since then I’ve been pottering around and have enjoyed what you write. So much that several of your articles have found their way into my research.
More than anything research is where you’ve been most helpful to me. I’ve long had a book itching to get out but have been hampered by knowing where to start. After reading your DevonThink musings, plus the post on cutting up books and scanning them, I’ve got that problem solved. I’m about 10 books in and have only put a knife through the top of the kitchen bench in a couple of places! Knowing that I can have instant access to the books in my collection via OCR on my iPad, via a Fujitsu S1300, is fantastic.
thank you for your feedback 🙂
I agree, having books available as PDF is very liberating. Just need to look up something in a Social Psychology book. Could do it in a few seconds. The book is really heavy (in weight, it’s very well written) and I’m glad I do not have to carry it around and the scan quality is top.
All the best