Brain Pickings

Rainn Wilson on Overcoming Creative Blocks

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Most of us know actor Rainn Wilson as Dwight from The Office — the egomaniacal yet petty creep who has delivered many a palmface moments for cringing audiences. So it’s interesting — eerie, almost — to see Wilson step far outside his character and reveal what is indeed a rather thoughtful, introspective, profound persona. In this excellent Big Think interview, he talks about creativity, chess, meditation and how to overcome creative blocks — a worthwhile addition to our collection of insights on creativity from thinkers like Stefan Sagmeister, Paula Scher, Sir Ken Robinson, Ji Lee, Paola Antonelli and Steven Johnson.

I think if you’re the driest accountant with the plastic pocket pen protector it’s in how you interact with the world. There is artistry in everything that we do and there is expression in everything that we do.” ~ Rainn Wilson

‘Creative blocks’ come from people’s life journeys. If you don’t know who you are or what you’re about or what you believe in it’s really pretty impossible to be creative. So I think a lot of times when people have “creative blocks” and I know my share of friends do as well if they’re at just some stuck point. They’re not sure what to do with their lives or their writing or their photography or their filmmaking or whatever it is that they’re doing. I think the best advice is you have to change your life up completely; to go on a trip, to go spend a year being of service. Be willing to take some major drastic action to get you out of your comfort zone and go inside, not outside.” ~ Rainn Wilson

UPDATE: Wilson’s SoulPancake: Chew on Life’s Big Questions came out in February and is excellent — a highly visual anthology of musings exploring the human condition from a rich and fascinating array of angles, spanning life and death, art and creativity, sex and relationships, the brain and the soul, science and technology, and just about everything in between.

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