Creativity Reading Response 7: Scratch and sniff

I didn’t think I could be taken so strongly by a reading for a class. I tend to skim to get what I need to reflect and answer questions, never really pausing to admire diction, syntax or imagery. But, The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp changed that, even if it were for just a brief moment.

I was quite literally scratching my head whilst reading Tharp’s piece when the concept of creative “scratching” is brought up. Scratching can be different for each creative “itch.” In my life as a journalism major, some of my scratching is reading my magazines and thinking consciously about how it is written, who they probably talked to, how it is laid out, etc. As a fashion enthusiast, my scratching is following (and probably crying over) the Fashion Week Snapchat Discover stories, looking at fashion spreads, shopping (what a burden) and sketching outfit ideas.

Pitching ideas for journalism things has never been my strong suit, though I have an uncanny ability to build on other people’s ideas and connect them to sources. So, I feel like my scratching tends to come into play when some ideas are already present. I guess I don’t get that itchy that often, which is to my detriment in this case.

But, Tharp brought up something I would not have thought about because I try to create such logical black and white breakdowns in my brain. As much as I have tried to encourage group members to throw out any and all ideas for group projects to help brainstorm, I still tend to think that some are innately bad and some innately good. Tharp says that good ideas can go bad in the wrong hands and vice versa. Everyone’s experiences are different, so they can be scratching a different itch or maybe an itch that doesn’t exist.

This reading really grabbed me with its prose that painted what reaching for ideas can feel like. It’s nice to know that I am not the only one that sometimes look like an idiot staring into space.


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