Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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you got screwed The subject of creativity draws blank stares from many people, and for good reason. To the creative person, the world is an oyster, a never-ending source of wonderfully inspirational things to sing and write and dream about. Yet to the uncreative person, creativity is mysterious and fleeting like a Black Panther.

What is creativity though? Some people would say it's funny and joyful. Others would say it's sad and mournful. Still others would say it is both at the same time. One thing is common to all things creative though, seeing something that no one else sees. Creativity is being amazed, or "inspired" by things that are ordinary.

Where do people find inspiration is another important question. Perhaps people think inspiration comes from a "genie in a lamp" or some sort of inspirational supercomputer. Of course the real source of inspiration is much simpler. Inspiration comes from a variety of sources, such as experience, environmental triggers and internal ideas.

Inspiration comes from a variety of sources such as experience, environmental triggers and internal ideas, but what does that mean? In terms of environment, what kind of environment would be most beneficial for writing? Is a person more inspired in a busy park in the middle of downtown New York? Each person is different. What may be a perfect environment for one person may be terrible for different person, or what may be a great environment for a person one time, may be an unacceptable environment for the same person another time. In the short story "Works of the Imagination" by Gina Berriault the main character, Thomas Lang, is trying to write his memoirs by travelling the Swiss Alp countryside, but nothing around is inspiring him. "Through the translucent curtains the sky and the white mountains gave him...