Let’s Talk About Creativity

I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity. Oh, let’s be honest: I *always* think about creativity. Next to trying to figure out ways to make my four remaining baby teeth stick around with the rest of the gang for a couple more decades, thinking about creativity is what my brain does. I think it about in specific terms, as in how to maximize my own creativity, or how to describe someone else’s creative practice, and I think about it in general terms, as in: what sparks creativity? What encourages it? What hinders it? Are we all creative? Or not? So I’m going to explore some of those ideas in the next several posts. I have not done any scientific research on creativity, as has been pointed out to me before. But I have talked to lots and lots of really creative people about how and why they do what they do, so that’s good for something, I’d say.

Yesterday I talked to Teesha and Tracy Moore, two of the most creative people on the planet, and I read some blog posts–I don’t even know where or whose they were–and I wondered: If you were going to break down the components of creativity–what it takes to “be creative” into the most basic, simplest list, what would you have?

In Living the Creative Life, I wrote about imagination, innovation, and creation, and how you could separate those out. We’re not going to do that here. We’re talking here about whatever kind of creating interests you, from making journal spreads to writing music to painting.

Of course, this is something I’ve thought about for years, and my ideas change, ever-so-slightly, as I talk to more people and think about things from different angles, but my truest sense of what it takes to be creative is this:




Before we begin, though, I want to talk about one thing that almost every has an opinion about: are all human beings creative? Most people I know would say, “Absolutely. We’re all creative.”

I’ve known a lot of people, and not all of them were creative, so I qualify my answer a little. While I believe that all people–even, I might argue, all living creatures (here I think of the games our kitten invents involving bits of her own fur and a piece of tulle)–have the capacity to be creative, not all of us realize that capacity. So, yes, there are some people who are not creative. They could be, in other circumstances or if that was what was important to them, but right now? No. And, again, I’m not talking just about art-making creativity; I’m talking about any kind, from inventing new slang to making up lyrics to old songs to creating costumes. There are some people whose brains just don’t go there, for whatever reason. But we all have the capacity to be creative, and that’s what’s important. No matter how stuck you feel or how deadened or out of touch with your creative soul, you can be creative. There are ways to get there and habits to cultivate and mindsets to embrace. That’s what we’re going to discuss.

We’re going to talk about ideas last because there’s so much to say about that part that it may well develop into a series of posts all by itself.So next time we’ll start with skills–what do I mean, why are they integral to creativity, and what does that mean to you?

See you then~~


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