The Rotten Lemon of Enlightenment

Personal Creative Process

This week’s lecture was by John Harman and entitled “Personal Creative Process”. It’s style, pace and content was quite different from last weeks and to be honest I was a little skeptical. Maybe it was the fact John was older, from the UK and with what appeared to be a very dated PowerPoint presentation. The title page looked much like the blue screen and white text of a computer screen that has just shat itself. I could see the lecture room transform before my very eyes into a private library with floor to ceiling bookcases and a roaring fire. John sitting on an oversized wing backed chair stoking his pipe with a huge dog even by great dane standards between him and the fire-place.


Private library for illustrative purposes

I’m having enough trouble staying awake thankyou very much the last thing I need right now is a lecture that’s going to knock me out quicker than a couple of zanax! Why did i get out of bed…bed would be awesome…those soft…pillows…matress… Then John began the lecture the vision faded and it was back to reality.

Much like last weeks lecture this week’s turned out to be quite enjoyable after my initial doubts faded. I must also point out that none of my first impressions were in any way John’s fault but in fact me falling victim to an over active imagination!

What I really liked about Harman, J. (2011)’s lecture was his 5 rules of creativity.

  1. Preparation – Be a sponge. Take in as much information as you can. Read, listen, watch and learn. Be a general knowledge quiz night king! Know your domain/area of expertise in side and out. Make it your life because it will be how you make a living.
  2. Concentration – Be single-minded in your focus.
  3. Incubation – Walk away. Take a break. Meditate and relax.
  4. Illumination – Often comes during the incubation period when you are relaxed and can let your mind wander.
  5. Verification – Breakthrough. Get it down quickly before idea fades!

He basically described my creative process which before now was somewhat unknown to me. I was strongly aware of the preparation and incubation rules/elements but the rest were still undefined in my mind. So for an old boy from the UK with a dated presentation John did alright and helped me learn a little more about myself and my creative processes. Who’d have thought someone who has enjoyed such a successful life would know what they were talking about! Kids today they have no god damn respect!

Extra points go to Harman, J. (2011) for using his real life experiences to illustrate points taking them out of the realm of academia and into reality. Also of importance was his advice to entertain all ideas and if you ever find yourself in “the zone” keep going. You’ll crash eventually but when your hot you’ll melt faces with your awesomeness better than Charlie Sheen ever could! Plus it would be constructive and not a drug induced delussion…so maybe not the best example. I should probably have thought that through a little better but alas I don’t have tiger blood pumping through my veins. I’m only human!

In all seriousness it was a great lecture from a great guy! Come to think of it he made last weeks lecturer Dr Chris Spoors seem a little too slick. Like saw dust in the transmission slick!

Additional thoughts and reflections on this lecture can be found Personal Creative Process after thought…


Harman, J. (2011) Personal Creative Process: John Harman.

library-books-leather-chair-study-office-interior-design-home-ideas1. (n.d) In Google Images [Digital image]. Retrieved March 19, 2011, from;

Shmevey. (2010). I am on a drug, it’s called Charlie Sheen! . Retrieved Mar 19, 2011 from


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Very, funny and entertaining, nice to see how the cognitive mind works in relation to creativity.I agree with the points regarding the 5 rules and his relaxed style of lecturing was suited to the lecture subject. I follow the idea of thinking about my creativity as you do. Scary that we think alike. Good work.

Comment by Franco Iannantuoni

hahaha “scary that we think alike”…what are you trying to say Franco!

Comment by Jason

Hahaha I couldn’t agree more with your initial thoughts walking into that lecture. 8:30am lectures + old english dudes should be the worst combination ever, but I too found it to be very informative, and have taken into account his 5 rules of creativity for my blog. Maybe someone needs to inform him about his bland powerpoint presentations though, even the images used were way old fashioned, but hell, if he’s a famous author I guess he can be excused for slacking off with the powerpoints.

Enjoying this blog immensely, I’d even refer to it as ‘bi-winning’

Comment by thoughtswillcrackmyskull

Hahaha great video!

I think the early morning starts put you in a very critical frame of mind. Looking down at the lecturers from the raised seating thinking ‘this had better be worth it!’ Basically trying to pick fault with the poor bugger before he even opens his mouth. There is one exception to the rule however. For some reason when Mark McMahon is lecturing I just want to learn! It’s the strangest thing. I’m sure it’s the same with you too 😉

Comment by Jason

What are you talking about? You can’t be seriou………..oh wait he’s going to be reading these comments. Mark McMahon is the best lecturer at ECU….neigh, in the world. He’s an outstanding guy, who is going to give us all HDs 🙂

Comment by Mike

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