Jan 24, 2015

John Cleese on Creativity

I just finished watching a segment by John Cleese (Fawlty Towers) on Creativity (You Tube.) These short video clips have helped me put my creative process in perspective. I decided to take notes when I watched these segments. And in order to make myself really put the information together. I pared it with this blog. Hopefully it will be helpful to all of us—at least it will be for me, and that's my objective.

John suggests that your unconscious or subconscious mind helps you create. He defines ways to foster that connection. Think about this general principle and come up with own your personal list. Here is his:

*Sleep on it. If you get stuck on a problem, sleep on it; and ideas will come to help your resolve the dilemma.

*Rewrite from memory. He found that if he rewrote a scene from memory, it was stronger than the original one because his subconscious mind had continued to work on it even after he quit writing.

*Avoid interruptions. If you are interrupted when you are writing, you are pulled out of the creative process, and it's difficult to pick up your train of thought again. Try to stay focused.

*Create boundaries of space. Find a place to write where you will have no interruptions. He suggests an office or a quiet park bench. (Lots of luck with little children around.) You know your own schedule best. Orchestrate an optimal place for your situation.

*Create boundaries of time. Set a specific time to work each day where you can define a starting moment and an ending period. To me that means my writing has to be near the top of my priority list for the day. After scripture reading, nothing happens before I get some writing done.

Hope this is as helpful for you as it has been for me. I'll post about the other short videos in the next weeks. Share your ideas. Let us all benefit from them.


  1. Thank you for this post! I know in my head that in order to achieve my writing goals, I need to make them a priority, but find it difficult to give myself permission to do so. These ideas and thoughts are great! hugs~

  2. These are great notes! Thank you for the motivation.

  3. I find myself wondering how do I carve out time to focus?????


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