Friday, January 07, 2011

Creator's High


People ask me about why I write. I guess they figure that I have some kind of well-reasoned master plan. They're usually surprised when I tell them I write because I enjoy it.

It may be that not everyone enjoys writing as much as I do. I hear all the time about writer's block, or the pressure of cranking out post after post. For me, it's much simpler. For me, writing is the easiest way to get what I call a Creator's High.

Psychologists often talk about flow states. Flow is the experience of becoming complete absorbed in an activity. Scientifically, you enter a flow state when you pursue an activity that is involving and just the right level of challenging. One of the reasons we play games is to achieve this state--something anyone who has played Rock Band can appreciate.

I'm no psychologist, but I observe in myself that achieving flow when I'm creating something is more pleasurable than garden variety flow.

Perhaps it's the sense of accomplishment, which provides a slow-burning pride of achievement. Perhaps it's because creative endeavors reflect ourselves more than neutral activities like video games. Either way, it's a feeling I love and crave. And I find that writing is the easiest way for me to achieve this Creator's High.

Unlike starting a company, which takes years, or building a product, which takes months, I can bang out a good post in an hour or two, and the sense of completion from finishing something can last me the rest of the day.

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that blogging is an addiction for me. Best of all, it's an addiction that has brought me insights, friends, and yes, even business.

I think those are some pretty good reasons to write.

7 comments:

John J. Walters said...

I totally agree.

Sean Wilkins said...

Cooking, whether a simple dinner after work, or for a large meal for friends and family, provides this same focus and sense of pride in creating something valuable and nourishing.

acgourley said...

Interesting. I know that feeling well from programming but never thought about it in the writing context.

And speaking as an entrepreneur - following your blog for years makes me far more likely to want to do business with you. I don't even feel like I'd need to check your references you at this point... despite never meeting you in person.

ttieu said...

10 page power points and data intelligences gets me stoked!

After all these years I still feel like that special newbie in the cubical across the room learning nuggets of life lessons from you.

Blog on!
TT

Chris said...

Sean,

Yes, I enjoy cooking as well. If I had the time, I'd love to shop/cook every day. As it is, sometimes making a particular dish for the 100th time isn't as fulfilling as an original piece of writing...but it's still a lot more fulfilling than stopping at McDonalds.

Chris said...

AC,

Glad you've enjoyed the blog over the years! But you should always check references. As Ronald Reagan said, "Trust but verify."

Chris said...

Tran,

Always good to hear from you. Boy, we've come a long way, haven't we?