Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Stress/Creativity Model

I used to think that I couldn't accomplish anything productive unless I was stressed, because naturally stress forces one into action. But not I'm thinking that it's really more that I'm unable to accomplish anything creative, original, or worthwhile without annoying my friends about how much work I have. I think most people will agree with me that it's not hard to do something menial like math homework, but if you have to compose a piece or write an essay, it's hard to do anything good unless you're really stressed out while you're doing it. Here's the model that sums up this phenomenon (if the text is blurry blame Microsoft paint for being so bootleg--click on the image to enlarge): My original game plan was to try to ignore this relationship and do my assignments and such early. It was a great idea, but unforunately only worked zero times. So I needed something new.

Then I heard about Dostoesvky, famous Russian author, who you if you don't know, you should probably find out. I've read some of his stuff and let me tell you that on the whole the hype is for real. Anyway, the story about him is that after he would have money from the relative success of one of his former books, he would go to the casino and gamble it all away until he was broke again, apparently because he thought that unless he was hungry, he wouldn't be able to write.

My first thoughts upon hearing this story were that it is pretty legit to gamble away all of your money and not even pretend to try to win, and that all Russians remain crazy in my eyes. But then his ideas got me thinking, and I realized that he had totally the same problem that I have, only 150 years ago. However, instead of trying the ignore strategy, which legitimately doesn't work at all, he embraced his problems head on and went about finding ways to make himself more stressed. Well, why don't I do that too? My initial thoughts of ways to make myself more stressed, and thus give a much needed early boost to the creative process, are to e-mail my teacher beforehand and tell him that my paper is really nice, thus enhancing the pressure on me to write a really nice paper, or have somebody make me drink lot of hot sauce if they don't like what I've done.

But those ideas are kind of lame. Does anybody have any others? My gpa and coolness are in the hands of you, the loyal reader. Don't let me down.