I’ve been doing a bit of thinking lately on what drives us and motivates us to learn, to grow, to pursue various ventures and dreams and I have come to the following conclusion.
Now, some of you may be saying right now, “curiosity killed the cat” and in reply I would say, “but satisfaction brought it back”. There’s something about satisfying our own curiosity that makes us feel as though we’ve accomplished something. Now, I’m not saying for you to go out there and becomes the worlds number one Facebook stalker, but if there’s something you’ve wondered about, if there’s something you’ve wanted to do or learn, it often stems from an initial curiosity.
More often than not, my writing is motivated by an intrinsic curiosity to explore an idea, a world, a time or a character. Many of my blog posts, such as,“The Most Famous Reindeer of All” came about as I was curious as to the origins of a certain character.
The series of novels I am working on came about from an initial idea and time setting that piqued my curiosity, motivating me to explore it further and begin forming the characters’ narratives. The writing driven by my own curiosity can certainly be labelled as a creative pursuit, which leads me to the questions: what is the link between curiosity and creativity? And which one comes first? Is it our curiosity that drives our creativity? Or the other way round?
Out of sheer curiosity (see what I did there?) I began looking at some research on the connection between curiosity and creativity. As a result of my curiosity I discovered a few things.
According to an article I read from Psychology Today there are two main types of curiosity:
General curiosity- is seeking out different kinds and varieties of information. This leads us to enjoy learning about new and unfamiliar topics.
Specific curiosity- associated with the effort to fill in certain “gaps” in learning or information. This requires more focused and cognitive search.
Research (and everyone else seems to) suggests that curiosity is the key to creativity, that curiosity leads to creative thinking and a creative mindset, higher levels of creativity.
Does it really matter what comes first?
Personally, I don’t think it really matters much which came first. It’s sort of the chicken and the egg argument. No one knows for sure which one came first as there are arguments supporting both sides. When discussing creativity and curiosity, they go hand-in-hand. It is irrelevant which comes first. However the indisputable fact is that they both co-exist, supporting one another.
I suppose I have always possessed a rather large helping of curiosity, it is something that constantly drives me to discover new things, sometimes useful and sometimes somewhat useless bits of trivia, but still intriguing nonetheless.
My urge for creativity and my endless curiosity is something that fuels my writing, you see most of my writing has come from both a place of creativity and curiosity, and I’m often not sure of which comes first.
But like I asked before, does it really matter what comes first?
A quote from Toni Morrison quite neatly sums up my own passion for writing:
“I wrote my first novel because I wanted to read it.” – Toni Morrison
So after my mostly incoherent rambling on the subject, I encourage you all to engage your creativity and your own curiosity. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back. It doesn’t matter whether your creativity fuels your curiosity or whether your curiosity inspires your creativity, the point is to just let go of whatever is holding you back and enjoy the journey of your creative (and curiosity filled) pursuits. Ask questions, employ google as a verb, delve into the depths of discovery and enjoy every minute of it.
P.S. There’s a difference between curiosity and just being a “Nosey old Parker”. Don’t be the latter by sticking your nose where it’s not wanted or developing “stalker-like” tendencies, that kind of thing is frowned upon and you know, even sort of illegal! Ha!
© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2018). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.