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Author Amy Tan explores the evolutions of her creative process:

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/amy_tan_on_creativity.html

She attributes her productivity and success to a  heady mix of

  • Awareness (noticing hints from the Universe)
  • Luck
  • Clues from “ghosts” of ancestors
  • Random chance
  • Serendipity
  • God’s will
  • Accidents – happy and otherwise
  • Coincidence
  • Synchronicity
  • Muses

It’s an engaging explanation; definitely worth a look.

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I agree with most of her laundry list:

You have to be aware.

In my creative world, clues from the past inspire me (e.g., as I transcribe a distant aunt’s honeymoon travel journal from 1902…it’s almost as if she’s my muse, hoping her story will get told so she can live on).

The Big Guy Upstairs definitely helps me on a regular basis. I think we’re here to make things (I guess He asked the original “How do I create something out of nothing?”).

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