Best-Selling Author Asks: Is The Creative Process Universal?


Last night I attended a performance by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and as usual there is a discussion before the performance begins with the guest artist or songwriter or a commentator expert, sometimes a professor from USC or UCLA.

This time around, Wolfgang, a jazz-trained Austrian composer, spoke up, and when the time came for questions, many of them inquired about his creative process.

I asked: "Do you dream of music or imagine solutions to musical problems?" and he said yes.

More significant were his comments on how he composed his music while awake. He said he liked to jump on a new composition right away and jot down a few ideas as quickly as possible.

Without exception, he has determined that his very first ideas are his best.

I understand.

I like to write my books and articles really fast, and I'm especially motivated to do so if I've mentioned a great headline, which is begging to be written.

If I don't have a cool title that's fine, as long as there's a pressing or compelling theme I want to explore.

I know, in the same way that Wolfgang knows that once I start I'm going to do it, largely because the composition will make sense, and I just need to ; apply my tools.

The performance that followed the Q&A session was very good, but what resonated with me was hearing support for the idea that the creative process is noticeable. the same whether you are in the world of music or words.

The beginning is the key. If you can just do something, anything in fact, it will probably not only be a proper job, but often a very beautiful job.

So go for it!

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