Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Rise: Blankness

[The Rise]

"We make discoveries, breakthroughs, and inventions in part because we are free enough to take risks, and fail if necessary. Private spaces are often where we extract the gains from attempts and misses" (49). Sarah Lewis

 In the third chapter of The Rise, Sarah Lewis discusses "blankness, or seeming non-responses, and private domains for creation. She discusses how "safe havens" might be used to allow work time to develop.

What aspects concerning discussions of safe havens, private domains, the uses of pressure for creating, or any other aspect of the chapter did you find most useful for thinking about creativity? Why or how so? Provide page numbers.

21 comments:

Aliyah B. said...

The concept that I found most compelling in regards to creating art was found at the end of the chapter (page 57). It was the quote at the bottom. The narrator was referring to critics' responses to his art, "It's nice if they do like them, but that's not why I do it. I just like to make things" (Lewis).

I liked this comment, because it is something that I try to remember when I write or sing. I don't sing or write for others. I do it because I love it and I wouldn't be who I am without those things. That's how I view artists and their art.

Their art is an extension of themselves or how they process the world. They don't create for the compliments that they'll get. They do it because they'd feel incomplete if they weren't creating.

Shervonti N. said...

Criticism is not something that I have ever easily accepted whether it be constructive or not. A big part of that has to do with the fact that there will always be people just trying to tear you down to do so. As I have grown older, I know that criticism can be very beneficial but I do know at the same time it can be unneeded. One line in Chapter 3 that really stood out to me was on page 52 and that quote was "knowing when to ignore criticism is a riddle." I couldn't agree more because if a person is trying to be creative or introduce a new concept or idea... there can be people that offer harsh criticism just to knock that person's creativity back down. It's hard to know when criticism is coming from a caring place or out of malice.

Jaleelah Muhammad said...

On page 49, Lewis mentions how philosopher Umberto Eco can create safe havens anywhere by learning to inhabit the '"empty spaces in our lives"'. I like the idea of empty spaces because I've used them before, we all have. If whenever I'm writing a paper for class and come to what some call a "writer's block", I have to abandon the assignment in order to think of something else to write. A random thought or idea can pop into my head, whether I'm walking, cleaning, or having a conversation with someone. Without these empty spaces of thought, we wouldn't have all these great concepts and theories in history.
-JM

Brianna R. said...

I admire the idea of being able to have the ability to generate complete serenity within an "empty space" in an effort to create and imagine even when not in a place where that would seem possible. That says something about how powerful the desire to create for creation's sake is, simply because its satisfying. Being able to create one's own space and separate oneself completely from fear of judgement opens the mind to infinite possibilities. A line that really got my attention was on page 50, "to ignore judgement amounts to living in a waking dream". I believe this means we sometimes feel weighed down by judgement and feel the need to be cautious, but when you remove that hindrance, we feel the most free.

Brianna Reed

Mikaela S. said...

The concept that I found most useful for thinking about creativity is found on page 56. The author and neurologist, Sacks, gave himself only ten days to write his book. In the midst of this story, Lewis states that "Under pressure, we can see creativity when we expect to see regression" (Lewis 56). This was significant to me because being a college student comes with a heavy work load in most cases which can often times lead to procrastination. While many try to stay on top of school work, sometimes individuals fall behind and have to rush to finish papers and projects, but it seems that in several cases, many work well under pressure. When they know they only have a few hours to complete an assignment, they know they have to think outside of the box to come up with ideas quick, which can lead to a lot of creativity, when you would expect to people fail the most.

Baileigh Scott said...

Criticism plays such a large roles in the lives of everyone. Being African American and I woman, I feel as though I am criticized every time I walk out my front door. I spent majority of high school being criticized based on how I look, which leads me to believe criticism and stereotypes go hand in hand. On page 52, the author says "In a world where we are increasingly blasted by the stories of others, retreating to recover our own is more vital than ever before." This spoke to me because I feel that with each time I have been criticized, or have known someone who is constantly told they should be better, the level of strength inside me or that person increases. If it wasn't for being put down by those who only needed to make themselves feel better, I would not be half of the strong, independent person I am today. I think criticism is cruel and harsh, and I will never understand the satisfaction people get by using it to bring others down, but in the midst of all the put-downs and negativity, a fighter is born.

Paris Smith said...

The concept that I found most compelling was the quote on page 57 where it said, "It's nice if they do like them, but that's not why I do it. I just like to make things". It reminds me of something that I try to live by, which is that if you love what you do for a living, you never work a day in your life and it reminds me that if you are really passionate about something or just enjoy a particular hobby or activity, it doesn't matter who sees it, it doesn't matter who likes, and it doesn't matter who doesn't like it because you didn't make it for other people, you made it for the enjoyment, you made it for the happiness, you made it for the peace and quiet, you made it for the relaxation, and you made it for yourself and just for you alone and as long as I love it, it doesn't matter about what other people think.

Natasha said...

On page 64, it reads "Or as she is pressured to bounce between divergent identities-one 'Black,' one 'White"-experiencing the yo-yo paradox..." Being biracial, I can definitely relate to this. I may change my personality based on which side of my family I'm around or what group of friends I'm hanging out with. It's like depending on what race the person is, they have different expectations of me. I have unfortunately developed a "yo-yo" pattern of behavior/shifting method. I don't know why so many of us develop this shifting pattern. When I was younger, I didn't do it, but it just developed over time.

Anitra B. said...

The concept and quote that I found most interesting was on page 52 that stated "knowing when to ignore criticism is a riddle". I believe that this is saying that when you receive criticism sometimes you have to figure out if that person is criticizing you to genuinely help you or to try to hurt. This quote stuck out to me because it's true. If you are trying to start or do something new, many people will have an opinion and something to say. Sometimes you have to look at your relationship with the person, analyze what they said and try to figure out where they're coming from then choose wether or not to accept their criticism. It sucks that we have to take this approach, but there are many people out there that are trying to break others down.

Tiera Williams said...

The aspect I found most useful for thinking about creativity is found on page 49. Its says, "We make discoveries, breakthroughs and inventions in part because we are free enough to take risks, and fail if necessary. Private spaces are often where we extract the gains from attempts and misses." This idea is most useful to me because it addresses the issue of failure. Accepting failure alone allows you to still be able to pull some good out of it while failure in an open space can sometimes make things worse. I've developed the idea that everyone needs their private space to stay in touch with themselves. Failure is a part of winning and once people become accepting of that they will truly benefit from all areas of the creative process.
Tiera W.

Tiera Williams said...

The aspect I found most useful for thinking about creativity is found on page 49. Its says, "We make discoveries, breakthroughs and inventions in part because we are free enough to take risks, and fail if necessary. Private spaces are often where we extract the gains from attempts and misses." This idea is most useful to me because it addresses the issue of failure. Accepting failure alone allows you to still be able to pull some good out of it while failure in an open space can sometimes make things worse. I've developed the idea that everyone needs their private space to stay in touch with themselves. Failure is a part of winning and once people become accepting of that they will truly benefit from all areas of the creative process.
Tiera W.

Olivia Slater said...

The line "empty spaces in our lives" (page 49), really jumped out at me.
Regardless of the true idea this chapter was meant to hold, I was left contemplating this particular phrase long after the reading was over. I thought of all the spaces in my life, the people that I love, and the things that I long for. What could I do to maximize the capacity of what is currently my "empty space".

cassidy oliver said...

One of the most fascinating ideas in the chapter is that of a safe haven. A safe haven is any space in someones life where creativity can happen. Safe havens is also where art is created and the inner critique does not destroy one's notions. The fact that empty spaces can be a small moment such as "waiting for your elevator to come up from the first to the third floor" shows you how little time creativity needs. While time could be set aside for creativity, it should not be forced. Outside of that, the seemingly trivial moments should not be overlooked and can indeed foster creativity and much more.

Ashley B said...

What I found most useful for thinking about creativity was when Lewis discussed the uses of pressure for creating. On page 56, she stated that when under pressure we can see creativity although most of us may believe pressure can cause a lack of creativity or regression. I completely agree with this statement. When I am under pressure I am able to get things done more quickly and actually end up being very creative.

Kelsey W said...

I thought the part about the dancer and the critic was interesting. On page 48 it says that "part of the creative process requires 'undisturbed development.'" It's very compelling to think about the phrase, "undisturbed development," because I find that true. I work best in the quiet where I can think and let m mind wander through whatever I need to get done.

Alicia Sears said...

"Trying to bridge the gap between work and vision can be like hearing the notes to a song without being able to finish hearing the complete tune" (46) stuck out to me because often times trying to stay on top of my work in school and wanting what's best may fall out of line with the vision I have for myself and I'm not able to quite put the two together.

Tashawna N. said...

One particular part in this chapter that I really got me thinking comes from page 48 where it says,"Ignoring criticism...requires keeping others out." I think this got me thinking because I think that I do sometimes keep people out but not necessarily for the reason of ignoring criticism however, that is a concept that is understandable because there is always going to be someone to give you criticism but it's a matter of whether or not you actually take the time to accept their criticism or not.

~Tashawna Nash

cassidy oliver said...


This chapter talks a lot about criticism and when to ignore it. Criticism is essential to art, but not all criticism is constructive. For some artists, their flaws are incorporated into their artwork in order to ignore their own criticism (Lewis 52). But ignoring your inner critic can distort that critic that is often needed to make quality work. That is an important part of the process of making art that is often neglected. By neglecting it you are often leaving ones self up for complete judgement by others.

Quincy Sanderlin said...

I found Lewis's discussion on criticism to be interesting. The opinion of other people
can elevates someone's craft or art if it is constructive. The opinion of others can also be destructive, if it comes from a negative place. Knowing when to accept or reject criticism can be difficult. Lewis reflects this on page 52 when she says "knowing when to ignore criticism is a riddle." With this fine line, an artist ultimately has to reflect on his or hers own work, and make a judgement whether to neglect or accept criticism.

Quincy Sanderlin said...

I found Lewis's discussion on criticism to be interesting. The opinion of others can elevate a person's craft or art, if it is constructive. The opinion of other people can also be destructive if it comes from a negative place. It can be difficult to decide whether to reject or accept criticism. Lewis presents this on page 52 when she says "knowing when to ignore criticism is a riddle." An artist ultimately has to reflect on his or hers own work, and use judgement to decide whether to reject or accept criticism.

Maya Estell said...


"We make discoveries, breakthroughs, and inventions in part because we are free enough to take risks, and fail if necessary. Private spaces are often where we extract the gains from attempts and misses" (49). Sarah Lewis

In the third chapter of The Rise, Sarah Lewis discusses "blankness, or seeming non-responses, and private domains for creation. She discusses how "safe havens" might be used to allow work time to develop.

What aspects concerning discussions of safe havens, private domains, the uses of pressure for creating, or any other aspect of the chapter did you find most useful for thinking about creativity? Why or how so? Provide page numbers.

As far as Safe havens are concerned in connection with creativity, the idea of dance was what I found to be most useful for thinking about creativity. "Terry expected more of this new sprout on the landscape with talent for miles." (Lewis, p.42) prior to this quote the Author describes how Taylor created a magazine that was entirely dedicated to dancers which really helped to create a safe haven for them to come and express themselves including what ever new Ideas that they wanted. This i viewed as one of her private domains for creation.