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Creative quotes and quotations
On Tension...


Tension is the drawn bow of creativity. When you apply a stimulation of some kind to a problem, you create psychological tensions that prod the mind into action. We have a deep need to resolve tensions in our lives and our subconscious will happily lend a hand to make the go away. So now you know the awful truth. Go twang that bow!

See also

constraints, mind, incubation, necessity, stimulation*, thinking, truth, vision


‘Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed.’

William Blake

‘How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have hope of making some progress.’

Niels Bohr

‘Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled; to concentrate; to accept conflict and tension; to be born everyday; to feel a sense of self.’

Erich Fromm

‘It is the pull of opposite poles that stretches souls. And only stretched souls make music.’

Eric Hoffer

‘The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.’

F. Scott Fitzgerald

‘There is perhaps no better way of measuring the natural endowment of a soul than by its ability to transmute dissatisfaction into a creative impulse.’

Eric Hoffer

‘Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity.’

Chuck Jones

‘It seems that the creative faculty and the critical faculty cannot exist together in their highest perfection.’

— Thomas Macauley

‘It is a mistake for a sculptor or a painter to speak or write very often about his job. It releases tension needed for his work.’

Henry Moore

‘Nearly 100% of innovation—from business to politics—is inspired not by "market analysis" but by people who are supremely pissed off by the way things are.’

Tom Peters

‘The true genius shudders at incompleteness.’

Edgar Allen Poe

‘The life of the most creative man is led, directed and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes.’

Saul Steinberg



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