Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Medici Effect

by Jewel Leann Williams

The Medici family were wealthy bankers and merchants who came into power in the 1400's and ruled Florence, Italy until the mid-1700's.  They had their hands in everything. Some of them became Popes, and the sponsored scientists such as Galileo, and artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci. They brought the foremost intellectual, scientific, and creative talents together in one place, and under their influence the Renaissance was born.

A business writer and entrepreneur named Frans Johansson, coined the term "The Medici Effect," for what he proposes happened to bring about the Renaissance. Because the Medici's brought all of these different disciplines together, they influenced each other and that synergy fueled the creativity explosion that was the Renaissance Era. Johannson explains it as the "intersection," a place where:

...ideas and concepts from diverse industries, cultures, departments, and disciplines collide, ultimately igniting an explosion of ideas leading to extraordinary innovations. Breakthrough ideas are most often “intersectional” and occur when we bring concepts from one field into a new, unfamiliar territory.
What does this have to do with writing?

It's the basis of a new way of thinking about our creativity.

I for one, have always felt that I need quiet, calm, and leisure time in order to be my most creative.

But that may not be true.

If there is something magical about different, non-creative pieces of my life crashing together to form a synergy that put my own creativity into hyperdrive, then probably the busier I am, the more creative I will become.

That's why the little notebook we writers carry around all the time is so important. While I'm doing yardwork, dishes, hanging out with kids, folding clothes, working on documents in my job, or whatever it may be, that "intersection" may occur. The trick is to mine the information and ideas when they come in so that when that elusive leisure time does come, we can further explore them.

In reality, the busier we are, the better our creativity thrives--it's just up to us to use it properly.

When do you find that you're the most creative? What surprising places or actions kick your idea-maker into overdrive? Comment below!


  1. I always come up with my best ideas in the shower. So yup, I'm pretty sure I should just stay in a nice warm shower all day. ;-)

    1. and imagine the story ideas that would pop up when the hot ran out and you got the SHOCK of the cold! LOL

  2. I like your perspective. My ideas hit while I am driving. It'd be great to have a scribe on hand. Maybe a personal assistant!



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