Am Writing, Biomedical Engineering, brain chemistry, creative high, Creativity, dopamine, Goldsmiths University, London, Louis L'Amour, Medical Physics, neuroscience, Ray Bradbury, Vienna Center, writer's high, writer's life, Writing, Zen in the Art of Writing
Artists of all mediums have experienced the energetic bliss of the “creative high” at one time or another. I certainly did when painting and designing, as much as I have while writing. Maybe we didn’t talk about it, but we knew it was there. That it was real. Ray Bradbury, alluded to the creative high in his famous quote on writing:
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. —Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
In recent years, neuroscientists have conducted studies that scientifically prove what artists of all types have known all along.
The biology behind the magic of “Aha!”
Vienna’s Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering in collaboration with Goldsmiths University London discovered the secret of the “Aha!-moment”. When people have a flash of insight when solving a puzzle, the mood-enhancing substance dopamine is released. The same is true with artistic creation and insights.
And it just gets better! The initial release of dopamine from a creative endeavor generates continued creativity. L’Amour understood this, as shown in his well known quote on how to avoid writer’s block:
Start writing, no matter about what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on. You can sit and look at a page for a long time and nothing will happen. Start writing and it will. —Louis L’Amour
The creative two-step
According to science and world-renown authors, how to get and stay creative can be summed up in two steps:
- Do (create), be (happy). Do, be, Do.
- Keep on, keeping on.
Backed by science
If you want to learn more about creativity and the chemistry of your brain:
- Dopamine-producing areas of the brain inspire creativity
- Using Neuroscience to Boost Your Creativity