“Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.”
“I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take.
That advice is: Work alone…”
Steve Wozniak, Apple Computer inventor
Here’s an upcoming book I’m eager to read: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. According to Susan’s recent article in The New York Times called “The Rise of the New GroupThink,” the current stress on collaboration and brainstorming as a way of generating valuable ideas is totally off track. And multitasking? Forget it!
Instead, says Susan, the latest research indicates that “people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption. And the most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted….” These creatives are open enough to enjoy exchanging ideas, but view themselves as “independent and individualistic.” Sounds like the classic writer to me!
Why exactly are solo spirits so creative? According to Susan, “solitude is a catalyst to innovation” and fosters creativity because it supports the ability to concentrate the mind intensely. What’s more, solitude enhances mastery.
“According to research on expert performance by the psychologist Anders Ericsson,” says Susan, “the best way to master a field is to work on the task that’s most demanding for you personally. And the best way to do this is alone.”
Guess the lonely writer’s “chair-in-the-butt” strategy really works!