The Process of “Chunking”

During the process of developing my workshop¬†Encouraging Creativity in the Classroom¬†(I’m still working on it right now – it should be available in a month or so), I was introduced to a process called “chunking”. I had never heard of this as a creative process before, and assumed that it was a term that the person who clued me into the process came up with. But then I ran into another Brain Pickings article that talked about the process and why it is such a powerful creative technique. It turns out that it wasn’t just a made up term after all.

Incidentally, the story about the man who increased his working memory by using exponential chunking is also detailed in the book Ungifted by Scott Barry Kaufman. It goes into much more detail about the methods that the man used over time. But no matter which version of the story you read, it is still fascinating stuff.

The Science of “Chunking”, Working Memory, and How Pattern Recognition Fuels Creativity

Gut Churn and the Creative Process

I had never heard of the 99% conference before – amazing to me, since I own a book that 99U published. It was a great book, too, about how to make creative ideas happen. Apparently, that is what 99U is all about.

Incidentally, it is called the 99% conference because:



The Brain Pickings article that I am featuring today contains a video from a 99% conference in which Jad Abumrad talks about the beginnings of his unique radio show format and how he and his collaborators came up with the format. In the video, Jad’s collaborator discusses “gut churn”, that feeling in your stomach that you get when you are doing something new that could go amazingly right – or horribly wrong. Jad discusses the biological foundation for “gut churn”, as well as how the feeling is beneficial to the creative process.

I hope you enjoy it.


Connecting the Dots: Amanda Palmer on Creativity

Creativity is all about connecting the dots. It is what I do every day as I write these blog posts and work in my classroom. It is what my children do every day through their activities and experiences.

In another Brain Pickings article, Amanda Palmer talks about connecting the dots and how essential it is to the creative process. I hope that you enjoy this article as much as I did. There is really some inspirational stuff in it.

Brain Pickings: Stephen Jay Gould on Why Connections Are Key to Creativity

I ran into the Brain Pickings website by chance about a week and a half ago, and I have been so impressed with what I have seen on their site so far. This is the second article that I have posted from their site, once again about creativity. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

Uncommon Genius: Stephen Jay Gould on Why Connections Are Key to Creativity

Getting the Creative Mind to Work

I ran into this article today, and it really spoke to me. It talks about doing what you do, day in and day out, whether you are in the mood or not.

One of the best lines in the article, to me, is “The notion that I do my work here, now, like this, even when I do not feel like it, is very important. Because lots and lots of people are creative when they feel like it, but you are only going to become a professional if you do it when you don’t feel like it. And that emotional waiver is why this is your work and not your hobby.” This quote was by Seth Godin, and is apparently in the book that they are talking about in the article.

I may have to check that book out. I will let you know how it is after I read it. For now, I guess I have to get to work!