A journey to find the creativity I never knew I had.
I’ve always thought of myself as a logical, unimaginative, numbers girl. I naturally do well at things that are managed heavily by the left side of the brain. Situations that require reason and analytical thought are where I feel comfortable. Surely, this is part of why I always thought that I had zero creativity.
I’m clumsy, horrible with details and have a hard time drawing within the lines. The thought of having to act in a play or create a piece of art for even my bathroom wall makes me wanna run away. I’d escape to a place where arts and crafts activities are reserved for snotty kindergarten kids and artsy folks.
Oddly enough, as a kid, I had quite artistic hobbies. But I never saw myself as creative within them. I played piano and took dance classes for years, but because I wasn’t the one creating the music or the movements, it’s as though it didn’t count as a creative outlet.
Up until recently, if you asked me what I thought about creativity, I’d have told you that creativity is found in activities related to arts and crafts, music or drama classes we had back in high school. My definition would go on to describe creative people as folks who paint, draw, write poems or songs, act in plays, create choreographies or make random statues of giant baby heads.
It’s only in the last few years that I started to realize how ridiculous that is. It’s unfortunate that for so many years I limited myself to un-creative tasks because I was so convinced of my lack of creativity. Even at work, if a song or a cool catchphrase needed to be created, I took myself out the candidates to get it done. I was convinced that I wasn’t the woman for any type of creative job.
Recently, there are a few things that I’ve realized that have helped me rethink my BS limited ideas about creativity. I now take up any chance I get to develop and enjoy the beauty of my creative side. So here they are, my three important realizations about creativity.
1 It’s not all about Arts and Crafts
Creativity is a skill that can be brought to the table in any context. Being a creative person doesn’t mean you need to be artistic. Those are two completely different things.
It’s clear to me that I won’t express my creativity through oil portraits of the Moon or songs written about my heartbreak, but now I know that that doesn’t mean that I’m not creative.
My creativity just comes out in different ways. I’m creative when I’m trying to figure out the most efficient way to do a task or when I’m looking for a way to be less wasteful at home. To people who are more traditionally creative, these may seem like cold and rigid uses for creativity, but they don’t have to be.
My creativity is a handy skill that I often reach for in my toolbox to help me make my super me life. Without a dash of creativity, I’m sure that I wouldn’t be living the life that I am. As anyone who consciously makes an effort to make their life true to them will know, a bit of outside the box thinking is required to do things unconventionally.
I’ve realized that creativity is about thinking of new, innovative ways of doing things. Any things. Creativity allows your mind to leave the box of how things are usually done and think up new ways to do them.
Now, this is starting to seem like something I can sink my teeth into.
Now that I’ve realized that I too am creative, I use this skill to help me choose my own way in life. Without creativity, the amazing detours or off-course trails in my journey wouldn’t arise. I would be limiting myself to the standard super highways I see around me. Luckily, I now have my trusty creativity to inspire my steps forward.
2 Working Out the Creative Muscle
This is such a cliché, but it’s true. The more often you use creativity, the more on hand the skill will become.
It’s just like that jam-packed toolbox. If you never use that random fancy hammer, you’ll have a hard time finding it when you need it. But if you are taking out that specific hammer regularly, you’ll have it handy whenever you go in there to reach for it.
Make sure you dust off your imagination and find excuses to create. Create a new way of organizing your cleaning schedule or a pretty way to display your photos at home. I don’t care how you do it, but find ways to be creative. Regularly.
Work out your creativity as often as you work out your body. Otherwise, the creativity muscles will become weak and obsolete.
3 Using Resources to Stimulate Creativity
I only started tapping into my creativity when I started using tools to help me get there.
I work as an editor, so often times, I sit around thinking of the perfect way to say things. And if my brain isn’t able to do this task solo, I help it out. I check for synonyms, ask Google, brainstorm sentences structures, make lists or even make sketches or outlines. I do whatever it takes to stimulate my mind so that it can come up with what I need.
Sometimes, my creativity just can’t do all the work solo. If I can’t do the creative task using only my own ideas, it doesn’t mean that I’m not creative. It just means that at that moment I need extra help. So I give my creativity the support it needs. Within no time, it usually kicks into gear.
Don’t be scared to help your creativity bloom by giving it some resources to help. There’s nothing wrong with seeking inspiration through existing means.
To finish off, I wanna share a link to one of the most interesting talks I’ve ever seen about creativity (and in general). Check out Ken Robinson and his talk, How Schools Kill Creativity.
Watching this man’s talk was the slap in the face that made me realize that it’s not that I’m just not a creative person, it’s simply that I lost my creativity along the way. So, now I put conscious effort into finding my lost creativity. Slowly but surely, it’s growing and strengthening. Every day I feel more and more confident letting my creativity take charge.
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