Re: Creativity

Subject: Re: Creativity
From: "Race, Paul" <pdr -at- CCSPO -dot- DAYTONOH -dot- NCR -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 12 Nov 1994 22:11:00 EST

On Fri, 11 Nov 1994, Ed Hoornaert wrote:

> <snip>

> So, what is the role of all this creativity in the tech writing process?
> Does it help, hinder, and if so, under what circumstances? Is creativity
> a way of thinking that helps when faced with a process or page layout
> problem? Do you consider yourself creative, or a technician?

I have a WHOLE lot of creativity. I write novels and songs, enjoy layout
design, have about twenty hobbies, including model railroading, etc. So
given no restraints, I create something entirely new every few days. The
only problem is that it is often difficult to get the creative juices that
fuel my hobbies and avocations to work in an environment that is very
restrictive. Every couple of years, I come up with some brilliant new way
of doing my job or producing or delivering or formatting our output, which I
"propose" to my manager (several managers in succession, by now), and I
always get this "dumb look" like "What were you smoking when you came up
with THIS?" This ticks me off, and I go back to the "worker bee" syndrome
for about two years until things get intolerable, and I can't HELP but stick
my neck out again with another new idea. I even used to keep a file to
record these things, called "Sticking my neck out."

The wierd irony is that virtually every suggestion I have ever made this way
has eventually been adopted by the manager in question, usually after I'm in
another department so he/she doesn't have to worry about me claiming it was
my idea. But in any job I'm holding at any given time, I'm constantly being
told that I don't excercise "enough" creativity (probably because the last
three ideas I presented were summarily shot down and I slinked back to my
cube to play "worker bee" for another year). Whereas people who seem to
have no creative abilities whatsoever, but figure out a way to save the
company $30 a year by recycling paperclips get awards, kudos, bonuses,
promotions, etc. So, do any other "hyper-creative" people out there have
this problem?

Then Mike Keene said:

>I also agree with the person who said we've learned how to learn. It's
>interesting that no less than Peter Drucker thinks those with that gift
>will be economic gods in the next century--"The Knowledge Society"--any
>takers on that bet?

So, has anybody tried E-mailing Trudeau at that compuserve address in
Sunday's paper yet? Be interesting to know if it isn't bogus. :-)

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