The Myths of Creativity by David Burkus

Burkus_3DI just got off of a live Q&A call with David Burkus talking about his book, “The Myths of Creativity.” The call was very inspiring and David is a very sincere and great person. I've been reading his book throughout this month and finished it earlier this week. “The Myths of Creativity” addresses the various things that we believe to be true about creative ideas and creative people that are in fact myths. In addressing the myths David also references the science and then explains the truth as it relates to each of these questions.

One of my favorite chapters was the Eureka Myth. This chapter helps explain the core processes that we go through when developing ideas. Of particular note is the incubation phase in which we are not directly focused the project or problem. It is because of this process that we feel like our best ideas come to us in the shower or when we aren't thinking about it directly.

I also really appreciated the originality myth. We tend to believe that when we have a good idea we alone are responsible for it and that the idea is new and unique. In this chapter we learn that all ideas are built upon other ideas. They are the natural evolution or combination of existing thoughts and ideas.

The third chapter I will mention here is the expert myth. We tend to believe that the more expert someone is in any given area the more likely they are to be able to generate unique ideas in that field. This is far from the truth. The science suggests that while we need a basic understanding of the field, an expert is generally to bias to the existing ideas and science to truly think outside of the box.

Each chapter of this book discusses a myth, the science behind that myth, and the reality of how creativity really works. While this book plays well toward professionals who work in a “creative” environment I think anyone could benefit and enjoy reading this book.

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