Creativity and Mental Illness: Some thoughts from my upcoming book

Just finished the proofs for my upcoming edited book Creativity and Mental Illness and thought I would share a version of my final chapter, which represents my own thoughts on the matter….

I think it stands alone well enough to include most of it here as a blog….

As I was finishing up this project, a colleague asked me a question that stuck with me – why exactly was I doing this book? I ask myself that question every time I am in the final stages of an edited project, as I track down the last chapters and begin the marketing questionnaires. But, of course, this question was a bit deeper. Why creativity and mental illness? Why study it?

Some would argue the topic has been done to death. There have been hundreds and hundreds of studies, most of them analyzing one small piece of the puzzle. Small effects or mixed results are overstated – or consistent patterns are minimized. The benchmark papers are flawed and, even if perfectly executed, would only shed light on one aspect of the …

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Blog for National Endowment for the Arts

I am doing a webinar for the National Endowment for the Arts today, chatting about creativity. Should be fun!

To get my gears turning, I wrote a blog for NEA here.

For those who don’t want to click, I am including it below, as well.


Can anyone be creative? How? What next? 

These three questions have driven much of my career.

To start with the obvious, creativity is a good thing. Creative people tend to be happier and more successful than less creative people. They are funnier and sexier and they can use their creativity to cope with stress and heal more quickly after trauma. Obvious negative stereotypes still persist. Some are true: creative people are more anxious. Others are simply false: your average creative person is not more likely to be severely mentally ill. There are hidden biases as well. Teachers and bosses alike say they value creativity, but they may still unconsciously dislike creative people.

This disconnect between what we say versus what we think may come from the many …

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Please take this survey if you are a creative teacher!

Seeking Creative Teachers!!

Hi everyone,

Greeting from the University of Connecticut. I have yet to go back to regular blogging, but I plan on doing so very soon.

In the meantime, I am looking for some creative teachers who would be willing to share creative lesson plans that have been successful.

I have a new book project with Ron Beghetto in the works. The key purpose of our book is to showcase the creativity of classroom teachers and also to demonstrate how creative lesson ideas can be aligned with math and language arts common core content standards.  As such, we would like to ask teachers a few questions about the academic content of the lesson, which will help us make the connection between the lesson and relevant common core standards.

This is the link to the survey.


Please take the survey, and please share with ANY teacher you think is creative.

Thank you!!


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The Charlie Brown Theory of Personality

Charlie Brown is a model neurotic. He is prone to depression and anxiety and paralyzing fits of over-analysis. Constantly worrying if he is liked or respected, he has a perpetual, usually dormant crush on the little redheaded girl, taking small joys in her foibles (like biting her pencil) that may make her more attainable. He is noted for his inability to fly a kite.

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No Oscar Love: Visual Effects Artists

When we ask people questions about creativity, we hear back all about drawing, music, creative writing, or film. We don’t hear a lot about science, business, teaching, engineering, or other non-artistic areas. This discrepancy is why so many people may think they’re not creative. If your creativity takes the form of computer programming or cooking or mathematics, then you might assume it’s not “really” being creative.

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