Why We Seek Creative Pleasure

For many of us, our strongest and at the same time vaguest desire is to be more creative. And when we think about what it would mean to be creative, we arrive at a dauntingly fixed range of jobs.We might be visually creative: and so identify that we want to be a painter, photographer, film-maker, designer or architect.We might be intellectually creative: and so want to be a novelist, journalist or academic.We might be musically creative: and so want to start a band.Or we might be sensorily creative: and so want to start a restaurant. 



The problem is that securing any of these jobs is – statistically speaking – almost impossible. We end up blocked, sure of what we want to be, yet also unable to break into our chosen field.We end up with what we call a fixation – rather than simply an interest – to signal the mixture of inner certainty and outer impossibility.The solution to such fixations lies in coming to understand more closely what we are really creatively interested in because the more accurately and precisely we fathom what we truly care about, the more we stand to discover that our creative interests and their associated pleasure-points actually exist in a far broader range of occupations than we have until now been used to entertaining.



We’re prone to a very natural vagueness here. We often just like the broad sound of a given job. Once scrutinised, however, we might find that a particular job offers qualities which can, and do, turn up in a lot of other places. Investigation into the intricacies of various jobs reveals that the pleasures we are seeking are more mobile than initially supposed. We call this investigation ‘pleasure-point analysis’. The surprising, liberating side of a creative pleasure-point analysis is that it reveals that it can never be a particular industry sector that is the key to finding a job we can love. Rather, when properly understood a creative pleasure is – thankfully – generic and can, therefore, truly turn up in many different and initially unexpected places.Careful knowledge of what we love sets us free to love more widely.

Find out more in our class on Creativity.

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