The Creative Chew

Micahel Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, wrote Food Rules, an Eater’s Manual in 2009. It is a light, funny, serious, simple, wise book on how to eat well. “Eating has gotten complicated,” Pollan writes, “needlessly so.”

Reading the book on feeding yourself  to give yourself a healthy body and agile mind made me wonder if we could take what Pollan writes and make it work for nurturing our creativity.  What Pollan says about eating—being careful what we put in our bodies—was also true about creativity. The more I read, the more fascinating it was to see that what is true about food is true about creative work.

Pollan’s rule # 44: Pay more, eat less. Quinn’s creative corollary: Pay more for good art supplies if you use them often. Don’t buy the junk food of art supplies just to have them. And if you did pile up a lot of art supplies you won’t ever use, give it away. Your local public high school will be grateful and you won’t fret over trying to use what you will never need.

Pollan’s rule #27: Eat animals that have themselves eaten well. Quinn’s creative corollary: Take classes from people who are good at what they do and who have the additional talent of knowing how to teach. It’s hard to learn from someone who is impatient, speaks too fast, or has favorites in class that get most of the attention.

Pollan’s rule #34: Sweeten and salt your food yourself. Quinn’s creative corollary: Do your own work. Don’t try to outdo what someone else is doing; don’t spend a lot of time looking over your shoulder to see who is doing what you are doing. Experiment with ideas until you know they won’t work or until they shine with the gloss of your own effort.

Pollan’s rule #1: Eat food. Quinn’s creative corollary: Create what helps your creativity grow. Take time to peel away your tough outer layer. Get to the tender heart and work there. Ignore what is fast to assemble–you’ll be yearning to be creative half an hour later.

Pollan’s rule #43: Have a glass of wine with dinner. Quinn’s creative corollary: Have a glass of wine with dinner.

-Quinn McDonald is a reader and creativity coach who keeps a journal and works on her creativity.

15 thoughts on “The Creative Chew

  1. I love how you take his food rules and apply them to creativity…clever and true! This sounds like a book I would enjoy reading, but at the same time, it seems so crazy that we’ve gotten to a point where we need a book to tell us how to EAT! But just one trip to the grocery store, one look at those shelves and shelves of packaged foods, and I know we do, in fact, need such a book.

    • I used to think, “We need book to tell us how to CREATE?” then I learned that yes, we do. And how to eat, too. Or maybe not HOW to eat, but WHAT to eat. All those convenience foods are not that great in the health department.

  2. Quinn, I am so with you. First, I admire and have read (or watched) Pollan’s work. I say admire because he not only points out what is wrong with the way we deal with food, but offers guidance on how to eat (and think and live) differently.

    You seem to be doing the same. From what I’ve read so far on your blog, I keep coming back for more. You not only offer interesting ways to consider many art/life topics, but make me smile ~ even laugh ~ quite often.

    I am sure you noticed how I link art and life. We make art like we live. It’s hard to separate them, really. I live artfully and create art that reflects my life.

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