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Jad's manifesto on the gut-twisting discomfort of creativity

Wednesday, August 08, 2012 - 03:45 PM

If you've ever felt sick to your stomach trying to do something creative, Jad knows how you feel...and even better, he suspects those knots in your gut just might be a sign you're onto something good.

So take heart, embrace the nausea, and read Jad's rallying cry "The Terrors & Occasional Virtues of Not Knowing What You’re Doing" on

PS: Jad's essay was posted on on 7/26, and we realized we never put a link here in our blog. So in case you didn't see the piece, and are interested...enjoy!


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Comments [3]

It is all, officially (Hey, my world = my rules )... TOO good!!!
You freakin' complete me.

Aug. 29 2012 06:11 AM

Thank you so much, Jad and Radiolab! I'm a poet, and I don't always think that essays about CREATIVITY (said with a booming voice) necessarily reflect creative work in general, as opposed to the specific work the author practices. But this is fantastic, and right on, and very encouraging.

Oh, and my poet-self thanks you dearly for the phrase "a new wing of the adjacent possible."

"And I think about moments like that now, and I think, I can either run from that feeling, we as a community can either run from that feeling, or we can run TO that feeling. We can treat that feeling as an arrow that we need to follow."

Jad, you're so Buddhist. And while we're talking about Buddhism, has Radiolab ever considered discussing religion? I know it can get insanely difficult, but I had two thoughts. One is the topic of specific religious experiences - whether near-death ones, or visions - and this could be either looked at from the perspective of living folks, or accounts from ancient mystics. And a second angle might be why humans are religious: i.e., psycho-social needs it serves, effects on the brain of prayer and meditation, as well as interesting stories about how it has been useful and/or manipulated historically.

I'm aware there are millions of people waiting to be offended by the topic; religious people who don't like to be reminded that most religious experiences have a material component, as well as non-religious folks who mostly like to make fun of us. But I love the idea of looking at religion from all angles: psychological, historical, biological, mystical, etc.

Aug. 09 2012 03:00 PM
A Smith

It's OK, you're among friends! All [good] scientists face something very similar every day. A nice perspective on this is the short article "The Importance of Stupidity in Scientific Research" by Martin A. Schwartz, available here:

Aug. 08 2012 04:57 PM

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