Midnight in Milwaukee (Or, the Midwest’s Version of Midnight in Paris)

In the new film Midnight in Paris, a writer named Gil travels back to Paris of the 1920’s and meets writers and artists like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Pablo Picasso. The film itself is an adventure in creativity and a gold mine of ideas for any writer or artist. It shows the effectiveness of blue sky thinking. Suspension of disbelief is an important tool for any creative task, and Woody Allen has led the way with this wonderful romantic comedy.

Gil spends evenings walking in Paris to get away from his annoying fiance and to feed his creative spirit. It is on those walks that he encounters writers and artists of Paris’ past. One evening Ernest Hemingway says to Gil, “You’re a writer. You make observations.” That’s what all artists and creatives do. They observe. Observation and interpretation create great art.

But with nothing new or interesting to observe there is no fuel for the creative fire. In her book, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron encourages people seeking renewal of creativity to take “artist dates.” Artist dates are done on one’s own. They consist of a block of time set aside each week to nurture and feed the creative spirit.

Cameron says…

Your artist is a child. Time with a parent matters more than monies spent. A visit to a great junk store, a solo trip to the beach, an old movie seen alone together, a visit to an aquarium or an art gallery — these cost time, not money. Remember, it is the time commitment that is sacred.

Every night at midnight Gil goes out on his artist date. On that date his creativity flourishes. He finds fodder for his art. He gains renewed excitement and passion. He even finds motivation to do re-writes.

You and I will probably never meet Fitzgerald, Hemingway, or Picasso on our artist dates. But, like Gil, our creativity will be energized and renewed if we will only take the time, defeat the resistance (who doesn’t want us to do artist dates), and make observations.

Here are some of things I could do for a “midnight in Milwaukee” artist date:

  1. Stroll upon Lake Michigan’s beach
  2. Visit the Calatrava wing of the Milwaukee Art Museum
  3. Browse at the humongous Renaissance Used Book Store
  4. Shop at Winkie’s old fashioned five and dime
  5. Enjoy the fragrance of fresh produce at the West Allis Farmer’s Market
  6. Observe people at the Milwaukee Public Market
  7. Bike along the Oak Leaf Trail
  8. Enjoy the sights and sounds of one of the many ethnic festivals
  9. See a play at the fabulous Milwaukee Repertory Theatre
  10. Catch the sights and sounds of a walk down Brady Street

What suggestions do you have for a “Midnight in Paris” kind of artist date?

It’s Live!

When was the last time you went to see a play, musical, or show? I sincerely hope it hasn’t been too long. If it’s been a while, there’s a piece of you that needs to be awakened…and will be as a result.

I liken seeing the live performance of a play or musical to having something resurrected within me. As I sit and watch I feel joy, get chills, experience pathos and sadness, and see myself reflected in the story. I get to view life from a different perspective. I see the human experience up close. I am a richer person having had the opportunity to lose myself in a live story, re-presented by living, breathing people.

One of my favorite quotes about theatre comes from Cathleen McGuigan, who wrote a piece for Newsweek:

The experience of theater is one of the few satisfying live entertainments available in our virtual culture. There’s nothing quite like the risky thrill of sharing a space with breathing, sweating actors—with no possibility of editing, photoshopping, voice dubbing or blue-screen special effects. The relationship between the characters onstage and each member of the audience who’s willing to suspend disbelief is a unique, delicate and deeply personal experience.

I got to experience that again recently as I watched a young lady do a cabaret type performance the Senior Project of her B.F.A. in acting. (Disclaimer: No, it wasn’t my daughter…although she did have a small part in one of the pieces.) The actress used the cabaret format to explore love and relationships from the female perspective. She did songs from 110 in the Shade, Guys and Dolls, The Last Five Years, Into the Woods, Avenue Q, and Legally Blonde. I learned some new songs. I was drawn in by her emotion. I thought about life in a different way. As the actors said on an old Saturday Night Live skit: “I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats.”

The great thing about live theatre is just that: It’s Live! It not only brings a story to life, it brings life to a story. It draws the audience in and asks each member to do two seemingly contradictory things at the same time: 1. Suspend disbelief; and 2. Believe that the story is her or his own.

I guess that’s why whenever I watch most any kind of (good) live performance I feel more alive myself. I feel tears welling up as the performance brings to the surface heartaches and hard times in my own life. I feel exhilaration as the performance brings to the surface particular joys from my own life. I find myself re-thinking a situation in my own life as I see it literally being played out on stage. I even feel melancholy as the performance drudges up my own regrets, failures, or simply a time that has long since passed. Even the melancholy that I feel makes me feel living and alive.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that theatre expresses emotion and shows the diamond facets of life. It’s living. And it’s live. And I love it.

What is it that makes you feel truly alive? What particular performance drew something new out of you?

Back to the Backstory

I love a good backstory. It’s surprising. It’s scintillating. It takes the hard edges of a story and makes them soft.

ESPN and former Sports Illustrated writer, Rick Reilly, is the master of the backstory. I was reminded of it again when I read this. It’s the story of Chris Paul, the NBA star, who lost his beloved grandfather to a brutal beating by some early teen-aged hoodlums, just to get the man’s wallet.

The surprising part is the backstory about Chris Paul himself. The backstory is about Paul’s grief; about his humility; about his compassion. He was the president of his high school class three years running. He’s the one other people want around at important moments of life. And now, even though some of the criminals have been sentenced to life in prison, he wants the people who killed his grandfather to be set free.

He hates that they’re in prison. He hates that they will never see the outside world again. He hates that their lives are ruined.

It’s surprising. It’s scintillating. It takes the hard edges off of the story and makes them soft.

I’m the last person in the world to care one whit about NBA basketball. I don’t like the personalities. I don’t like the perceived laziness. I just don’t like the game.

But through the backstory of Chris Paul, Rick Reilly has made me care. He’s made me care about at least one NBA player who seems to be a genuinely good guy. I don’t necessarily agree with what Paul is pushing for, but it’s not mine to have a say one way or another. It was Chris’s grandfather that was murdered. Not mine.

I found all that surprising and scintillating. It took the hard edges off of just another NBA story and made them soft enough for me to care.

It’s an important lesson for writers and creatives:

  • Dig a little bit
  • Everyone has a story
  • People love stories
  • Stories connect
  • Stories draw people in
  • Surprising stories bring surprising reactions from readers

Go check out Rick Reilly’s writing. It’s filled with wonderful backstories.

Someday I’ll tell you the backstory about the mini-bike crash that made me lie to my parents. It’s surprising. It’s scintillating. It takes the hard edges of a story and makes them soft.

What’s a good backstory you’ve heard? How do you use backstories to enhance your creativity?

Creativity Quiz #7…With a Singer/Songwriter

OK. This singer/songwriter happens to be my son. But he inspires me, as I think he’ll inspire you, with his creativity. Ben Eggebrecht has now spent almost two years at Belmont University where he has recorded an EP under the band name “My Red and Blue,” which you can find on iTunes. The title of the EP is “I Might Miss This.” He was the runner-up in last fall’s songwriter showcase at Belmont, will be interning this fall at Word Records on Nashville’s Music Row, and hopes to study at “Belmont West” in Los Angeles next spring.

As you will see below, Ben has been creative as long as I…or he…can remember. I remember when, at the age of three, he made an entire set for a little play based on The Three Billy Goats Gruff. But writing songs? That’s beyond me. I have no idea how he, or any other songwriter does it. It’s a mix of music, chord progressions, structure, poetry, and language. It’s an art that makes this world a better place. Just think of how music has enhanced your life.

Sure, he’s young. Sure, he’s my son. But creativity doesn’t have an age or culture. It’s not nepotistic, either. It’s young, old, northern, southern, black, white, red, and blue. If I didn’t ask Ben to participate in this little exercise, “I Might Miss This” opportunity to share with you all some useful thoughts.

So listen in on this conversation between father and son:

Tom: Define “creativity.”

Ben: Giving the word a constricting definition would go against everything that the word actually means…so I’ll just go ahead and say that creativity can literally be anything you want it to be.

Tom: When did you first realize that you were “creative”?

Ben: When I was about three years old, I began building things out of anything and everything. I remember one instance where I created a full-scale house out of pine needles. You don’t believe me? Well you can take that argument up with my imagination 😉 I would also put on plays with my sister, for which I would build sets and costumes out of cardboard boxes and other household items. Spaceships, castles, wolf ears, swords, and all.  However, at that time I suppose I hadn’t yet actually REALIZED that I was creative. Upon learning what the word “creativity” meant, a whole new can of pessimistic worms was opened. Creativity became something of substance that I could doubt. I started to think that people were born with or without it…and that maybe I lacked the necessary amount of it in order to take me very far in a creative career. Not good…especially for a kid who has always dreamt of being a songwriter. Fortunately, going to a university in a thriving creative community has reunited me with a bit of my long lost three-year old mindset…so pure…so blindly passionate…and so curious.

Tom: How do you cultivate your creativity?

Ben: Ironically enough, I cultivate my creativity by reading. I say “ironically enough” because I used to stay as far away from books as possible. It was not until fairly recently that I discovered the importance of literature in my own creative endeavors. It first occurred to me while reading The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis last summer. His writing style was like nothing I had ever encountered. That book enthralled me…and interestingly enough, I wrote some of my favorite songs while reading that book. I am convinced that exposing myself to the words and imagination of Lewis sparked much of my creativity during those summer months. Along with reading, I sometimes cultivate my creativity by letting my imagination run wild. For example, when I worked at my school’s rec gym last summer, I found ways to pass the time and allow myself be creative on the job. I’m not lying when I tell you this…when I got bored, I would literally pretend that I was a captain on a pirates’ ship at sea. Now that I have all of you wondering if I suffer from schizophrenia, let me redeem myself by concluding with a word of advice. It’s okay to act like a kid! It’s good for you! It loosens you up and stretches your imagination.

Tom: How do you handle a “creative block”?

Ben: When suffering from creative blocks, I go on drives. I do this for several reasons. For one, it gives me a mental break. It relieves much of the stress that ensues when over-thinking one idea for too long. Driving also reminds me that there is a world outside of my dorm room…or wherever it may be that I am trying to write or create. It brings me back to the realization that the world is full of stories, and that they are often times occurring without our knowledge. In the midst of that realization, I find myself contemplating life and all of its elements. This contemplation usually results in a fresh outlook when returning to my work.

Tom: When and where do you do your most creative work?

Ben: I have found that it’s similar to what people say about searching for true love…”It’ll come when you least expect it!” That makes so much sense because when such passion is wrapped around a thought or an idea, something is bound to come of it. So, I try not to force creativity. Instead, I make an attempt to sit back and let it come to me. I don’t believe there is an actual place where I do my most creative work. When writing songs, I tend to let my mind slip away into the location of the story. For me, writing sessions are nothing but glorified daydreams that later become tangible through the medium of music. In other words, I usually don’t even think twice about my physical location.

Tom: Who is your “creative inspiration”? Why?

Ben: God. Why? It’s simple. He created everything that inspires me to create. Although true, I suppose that was a bit of a “Jesus Juke“…so I’ll finish my answer with a more tangible one. My dad. Yes, the author of this incredible blog (SHAMELESS PLUG) is my creative inspiration. Growing up, I took for granted all of the ways in which he encouraged my creativity. He gave me opportunity, and still does. In my opinion, all creativity starts with opportunity. So, thanks Dad! And Mom, don’t worry…the same goes for you too!

Tom: What advice do you have for aspiring “creatives”?

Ben: Walt Disney once said, “The way to get started is to stop talking and start doing!” That is some of the greatest advice I’ve ever heard. Don’t sit on your idea because you’re afraid..pitch it because you’re confident! You don’t think you have a reason to be confident? Let me prove you wrong. YOU have something to offer that NOBODY else in the world will ever have! Never forget that. Now go have some fun and create!!!

What do you think of Ben’s ideas about creativity? Any new insights?

Saying Yes to Creativity

An expert on improvisational comedy will tell you that the key to successful improv is saying “yes”. If you’ve ever been to a show at Second City or have seen ComedySportz, you have witnessed this principle in action. Watch improv take place and you will see people saying “yes” to creativity.

Here’s how it works: ComedySportz has two teams competing against one another in various improvisational games. One such game is called “Mr. Know-It-All.” Mr. Know-It-All is actually three “professional” comedians and one audience member. A question about literally anything is solicited from the audience, and Mr. Know-It-All must answer the question. The “catch” is that the three comedians and one audience member must answer the question in the form of a sentence…one word at a time, said successively by one person at a time.

Mr. Know-It-All, can you please explain the Quantum Theory? Mr. Know-It-All responds one word at a time, one person at a time. The resulting answer is hilarious because each of the players says “yes.”

Saying “yes” obviously isn’t done vocally. Each person says “yes” in his or her head to what the previous player has said. “Yes, I will follow you.” “Yes, I will go down that road.” “Yes, I will take that turn, not knowing where it will lead.” “Yes, I’m going to jump all in and keep this going.”

Saying “no” will stop the game dead in its tracks. It won’t be funny. It won’t lead to interesting places. It will most certainly lead to stifled creativity.

Saying “yes” applies to all kinds of creativity. Over the weekend I got to see a production of Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap. The entire audience was sworn to secrecy, so I won’t give away the ending. But as I watched I imagined Agatha Christie saying “yes” to her thoughts as they went down unexpected paths that led to twists, turns, and surprises. She was a master at it. She said “yes,” and wrote the longest-running play in London’s West End.

Do you cook? Say “yes” to an unexpected ingredient. Do you write songs? Say “yes” to a chord structure you’ve never tried. Do you paint? Say “yes” to painting a landscape that includes objects that are out of context. Do you act? Say “yes” to letting an emotion have its way with you.

How have you found a way that saying “yes” leads you down creative paths?

Creativity Quiz #6…With A Creative Writer

Mark Zimmermann works with Peter Mead at Creative Communications for the Parish. He studied writing at Valparaiso University and lives in St. Louis.

Mark would like you to know that he’s working on a very special project that needs writers. It’s a new devotional booklet called Living the Gospel Life. If you’re interested in writing for this publication you can contact Mark at Zimmermann@creativecommunications.com.

Mark is a smart and creative writer. He writes things that have impact and zing. It’s good stuff that brings life to words and words to life.

Here are Mark’s responses to my questions about creativity:

Tom: Define “creativity.”

Mark: I would define creativity as the ability to work outside of the normal parameters and make connections to things that would not automatically be associated.

Tom: When did you first realize that you were “creative”?

Mark: I guess I would say I realized I was creative when I was 8 and wrote a book about a trip to the hospital and my relatives all wanted to read it.

Tom: How do you cultivate your creativity?

Mark: I keep notepads everywhere and write things down as soon as I think of them.

Tom: How do you handle a “creative block”?

Mark: I use a brainstorming technique where I put words and phrases and ideas randomly on a page and see if any connections develop.

Tom: When and where do you do your most creative work?

Mark: I guess I would say that my most creative work is done at my desk at work, usually in the first few hours or last few hours of the workday.

Tom: Who is your “creative inspiration”? Why?

Mark: I would say my Grandma Zimmermann is my creative inspiration because she was always coming up with projects and games for us to play when we came to visit her.

Tom: What advice do you have for aspiring “creatives”?

Mark: I would advise people to just keep trying. Don’t get discouraged. Some ideas work. Some don’t. It doesn’t mean you are not a creative person. It just means that you need to be patient.

See…even grandparents can have creative influence on grandchildren! Thanks, Mark!

What do you think of Mark’s ideas about creativity? Any new insights?

Creativity Quiz #5…With a Blogger

Jeff Goins is a blogger extraordinaire. He’s good at it. He does it every day. His writing is inspiring, helpful, and creative.

I first came to know Jeff when we attended the re:create conference together this past February. We didn’t meet there in person. But following the conference we came to know each other through the wonderful tool of Twitter. I was drawn to Jeff’s blog because he was so faithful, because his posts are so helpful, …and because it often has to do with creativity.

I also love the fact that Jeff wrote a brilliant post about the benefits of Twitter. You would do well to check it out. If you’re wavering on the benefits of participating in Twitter, Jeff gives good reasons to give it a go. (I could have added Jeff’s last name to that sentence, but maybe it would have been too much alliteration…)

Here are Jeff’s thoughtful responses to my seven questions about creativity:

Tom: Define creativity.

Jeff: I like the definition of creativity that my friend Paul Martin gave me. He pulled from his experience as a jazz musician and said this: “creativity is self-limiting.” Creativity is the act of setting boundaries and limitations to harness your power to bring something new into existence.

Tom: When did you first realize that you were “creative”?

Jeff: I realize that I’m creative in increments. When I first wrote a song on the guitar, I realized that I was a little bit creative. When I was the lead role in a play, I realized it a little bit more. When I started blogging, more creativity was unleashed. When I did a speaking engagement last week, I had an even deeper revelation of my own creative power and energy. I think we’re all creative and have these little realizations when we make ourselves available.

Tom: How do you cultivate your creativity?

Jeff: The only way I know how to cultivate creativity is through discipline. Everything else (going for walks, listening to music, etc.) is just icing on the cake. The word “create” is embedded into the word “creativity” — in my mind, if I’m not creating, then I’m not being creative. This doesn’t come naturally; I have to put myself to work.

Tom: When and where do you do your most creative work?

Jeff: I do my most creative work on the couch, but that’s just because it’s there. Occasionally, I need to change locations to inspire new attitudes in me. Sometimes, I sit on my porch, go to coffee shops, etc. I also find that airplanes are great, because there’s no wifi connection. Incredibly productive.

Tom: Who is your “creative inspiration”? Why?

Jeff: I love Monet.

Tom: What advice do you have for aspiring “creatives”?

Jeff: Just ship it. Just do something. Stop making excuses. Stop waiting for permission. Just begin. The Muse will find you.

What do you think of Jeff’s ideas about creativity? Any new insights?

Creativity Quiz #4…With a Professional Writer

For years I have been in awe of the work of Peter Mead. Peter is Senior Editor at Creative Communications for the Parish, a publishing house that provides tools and resources for people doing everyday, real life ministry. I have used their materials for years. And, yes, they are creative.

Last summer I had the distinct privilege and opportunity to attend a “Faith and Creative Writing” seminar on the campus of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. Peter Mead was one of the teachers. It was a wonderful couple of days away to simply concentrate on writing creatively.

More than that, it gave me the opportunity to sit at the feet of Peter Mead. He talked about theory, he spoke of the proper use of verbs, he had us write Midrash, and he provided art as inspiration for writing…all the while being incredibly affirming.

I wish there were the technology to crawl into Peter’s brain for a day and wander down all the creative paths and possibilities. He is a bundle of energy and passionate about his writing and his faith.

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are going to be greatly inspired by these responses:

Tom: Define creativity.

Peter: Creativity is synonymous with “different.” In worship, if you do something different, everyone says, “hey, that was creative.” Sometimes when you do something truly creative, everyone says, “Hmm, that was different.” But I like God’s twist on it: creativity involves ordering chaos. Whether in the beginning or at the cross, God’s creativity gives order where chaos reigns. Our creativity is sparked by God’s creativity, so in some way it must order chaos. Monkey’s banging on typewriters is different … but an explosive verb is creative. A three-year-old hammering on a piano is different … but “My Red And Blue” is creative. Dropping a bomb might be “something different,” but causes chaos. Acting diplomatically as the bullets are flying is creative.

Tom: When did you first realize that you were “creative”?

Peter: When Dad and I were working one day and he said, “By God, Peter, you’re so much better than I am. You paint pictures with words!” Felt I had somehow made it. Along the way there were lots of little experiences (first time I played piano at a coffee house, first published work, first time I heard one of my hymns sung in worship). But working with Dad was the clincher.

Tom: How do you cultivate your creativity?

Peter: Dad started it early by being a creative and sharing the things he loved: Abbot and Costello were necessary classes in the Mead household. We played imagination games and story-telling games. Playing “Favorites” was important in creativity and decision making. Nowadays I can best cultivate creativity by turning off the radio and exploring the vast storehouses of my mind—memories especially. Next time you’re on a road trip, turn off the radio and go through a childhood vacation in exacting detail. It’s a great exploration! Also, listen to children. They have incredibly loose synapses!

Tom: How do you handle a creative block?

Peter: I keep a LOT of balls in the air at any given time. When I even begin to feel like I’m blocking (even just slowing down), I switch to another project. Lay it aside … let it germinate. Having computers with these new browsers that can keep so many apps open at one time sure is helpful!

Tom: When and where do you do your most creative work?

Peter: Most definitely in the shower! Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to towel off quickly and jot something down on paper. It’s amazing that I take really quick showers, but still have this little four-minutes of lightning thought every morning. Must say, too, that I’m often at my most creative when I’m a bit blue. I think a tiny dip of depression puts me in contact with my feelings.

Tom: Who is your “creative inspiration”? Why?

Peter: Both my Fathers. Dad was so supportive and fun. Never withheld, and celebrated creativity. But Scripture is endless in its depth, its connections (LOVE those) and its timeless ability to communicate. I lose myself in it.

Tom: What advice do you have for aspiring “creatives”?

Peter: Celebrate, don’t push. This only works when it’s fun. Dive down rabbit-holes of thought (even … especially … nutty ones)—explore them on paper … in music … with images. Get yourself into collaborative relationships with people whose creativity you respect (making sure they have respect for you, too). Cross platforms: If you’re a writer, work with musicians … if you’re a musician, work with web designers. Finally, never stop educating yourself: you will use everything inside of you, so make sure your “everything” is a LOT.

What do you think of Peter’s ideas about creativity? Any new insights?

How to Steal Things Like an Artist

We take a break in our regularly scheduled programming (Creativity Quizzes) for the following announcement. One of the members of the Creative Team at my church (who will be participating soon in our Creativity Quiz series) shared with me a blog post by Austin Kleon that is so very helpful, I simply had to share it. Kleon has created poetry by “blacking out” newspaper articles. He takes what’s there, and makes something new out of it.

His blog post is entitled: “How to Steal Things Like an Artist.” I know that you will enjoy it, and benefit from it as much as I have. It’s loaded with pictures, images, and ideas. I think I need to read it about ten more times.

Click here to read this fascinating and lively article about creativity.

Creativity Quiz #3…With A Church Musician and Songwriter

I first met John Marrs when he was in high school and his high school choir director asked me to chaperone a choir trip to Florida. Who, me? A free trip to Florida? I think I’ll take it.

It was already on that trip that John and I hit it off as great friends and creative spirits. John ended up going to the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston, and I even drove him out to school one year. It was en epic trip that involved Cool Ranch Doritos and middle of the night stops at rest areas to brush our teeth. Did you know that Cool Ranch Doritos contain MSG and will eat your tongue away? …But I digress.

John has had jobs in the music industry, as a church musician, and is an accomplished songwriter. He is now the lead Church Musician and Creative Director at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Houston.

John is a great friend and an all-around creative person. So here are seven questions on creativity for John Marrs:

Tom: Define creativity.

John: Seeing something from a new perspective. Using your uniqueness to express your thoughts and ideas. Being willing to try something new.

Tom: When did you first realize that you were “creative”?

John: When I was a teen and was learning about how music is constructed (chords, melodies, etc.). I started experimenting with writing my own songs. You were a part of those early efforts!! It is amazing to me that 25+ years later I am still studying and learning how to make a melody and a chord progression.

Tom: How do you cultivate your creativity?

John: It helps to have inspiring music to listen to and to have great authors to read, to get me thinking. Sometimes a new instrument or sound can inspire me to write something. Sometimes I need a deadline to make it happen. Actually, deadlines work really well for me.

Tom: How do you handle a creative block?

John: Since I don’t have to create constantly as part of my career (it’s more of a sideline thing) I can have the luxury to step away and forget about it for a while. Being away from writing can be the best thing to make me miss it and want to get back into it again.

Tom: When and where do you do your most creative work?

John: Typically at night for the music. For lyrics, things strike me all the time, and I try to jot them down right then and there. I always need to be alone, though. Too many distractions otherwise.

Tom: Who is your “creative inspiration”? Why?

John: I would honestly say God is my inspiration. Some of my best songs have just come from “nowhere”. Put the pen to the paper and 5 minutes later the thing was basically finished. That has to be God, not me.

If you’re asking for people who inspire me, Andrew Peterson is at the top of my list. He reminds me a little of Rich Mullins, only much better and deeper.

Tom: What advice do you have for aspiring “creatives”?

John: Well, it’s not like I’ve been a huge success or anything, but maybe just to keep at it. I wrote a lot of songs that are really bad to get to the ones that I feel are pretty good. But it took all the bad ones to help me get to the good ones.

In other words, sometimes creativity means “failing” until we succeed.

What do you think of John’s ideas about creativity? Any new insights?