Home > Personal Network > Where you live – creativity lessons from Bono & Bowie

Where you live – creativity lessons from Bono & Bowie

The place you live is mostly associated with quality of environment. However, you can’t underestimate the effect it has on your ability to create.

I listened in to a BBC Radio 2 interview by Chris Evans with Victoria Wood the other day. They were discussing the creative process and Wood said: “If you have no life – you have nothing to write about.” It’s important not to become so detached that you separate yourself from the elements of life that give creative energy.

After Wood said this, Evans relayed a tale about how David Bowie calling Bono to say “I can’t write anything interesting anymore”. Bono replied “Look at where you live” – Bowie lived in Switzerland – “You need to move.” Bowie took the advice

…..Thank you for visiting. My blog has moved. You can find the rest of this post by clicking here.

and moved to New York – and the creative juices flowed again.

I’m enjoying the benefits of moving out of the countryside and in to the city of Bath. It gives me the energy I need and the right lifestyle to get the creative mind whirring again. By coincidence, I’m off to Switzerland next week for a nice bit of relaxation – but the city (and the network of people in it) will be what brings me to life!

  1. June 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Fascinating synchronicity: “I’m reading Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious” by Gerd Gigerenzer (source of some of the research for Malcom Gladwell’s “Blink”)

    Gigerenzer says that most research has focused on how our thinking affects our actions, or how our environment affects our actions, but the concept of connecting the triangle (environment, thinking, actions) is just beginning to be studied.

    While it seems commonsense, I’m looking forward to reading specific info about how personal change, connections, thinking are tied to environment, and how our actions come from the two blades of a pair of scissors, not from two separate knife edges.

    • July 1, 2011 at 8:46 pm

      Hi Joel. Thanks for reading and commenting. Always appreciate your thoughts/input. I love the phrase “our actions come from the two blades of a pair of scissors, not from two separate knife edges.” Thought provoking. P

  2. July 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Great blog, as always. I to have recently experience how much your physical environment can enhance your frame of mind and therefore your work potential. As normal – on the nail Phil!

    • July 1, 2011 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks Chris. It’s interesting that your creative input is probably coming from your extensive travels than change of home (is that right?). It’s another element that “travel broadens the mind” too. P

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