Creativity has its place in every blog post we write, every marketing message we create, and visual media we produce. The more inventive and original we are, the more we stand out from others working in the same niche.
Even if you present information found elsewhere, adding your own perspective changes it into something unique. As bloggers, we don’t usually need to be masters of creative writing but, with imagination and resourcefulness, we can compile compelling content.
Is Creativity Learned or Inbuilt?
Can we learn to have an ear for music, a hand for painting, an eye for photography, a talent for writing? Considering that we now know that the brain is plastic, and doesn’t stop changing when we grow up, I believe we can. What do you think?
Once science understands the brain better, more methods of tapping into its full potential will follow. Maybe, in the distant future, we’ll be able to decide to be a Leonardo da Vinci and make it happen? Too far-fetched?
I don’t write often enough here, even though I have so many ideas for posts. Why? I don’t want to just rehash what others have already written. So off I went on a quest to think, and learn more about, how we can increase our creativity and Here is what I came up with.
“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will” – George Bernard Shaw
Give yourself some space and time to let your imagination run free. Learn to shut out disruptive thoughts based on the past, fears of the future, or what you’re going to eat for dinner.
Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it. Dee Hock
Mindfulness training is invaluable for this. You can read more about this on my post Morphing Into Mindfulness & Productivity.
Can you think back to when you were a child when your imagination led you to wondrous places, and daydreaming created amazing scenarios?
For me there were scary aspects too: the bogeyman my brother never tired of talking about, the prospect of going to hell (I went to Catholic schools!). I was scared of holes too, such as the one in an old armchair we had at home. Weird, I know. I can’t now remember what I thought might come out of it – maybe that bogeyman!
This was all a result of an active imagination and childlike trust.
So how do we get back to a creative imaginative state of mind; without the fictitious scary bits and blind trust, of course? Read on for suggestions.
Confidence & Creativity
Believe that you are creative because you are! A huge part of being creative is thinking that you are. Comparing ourselves unfavorably with others just holds us back. I was a living example of that and still sometimes battle it. Lack of confidence often leads to conformity, killing creative thought and action.
Confidence doesn’t mean believing all your ideas are good. It means a willingness to learn from mistakes, letting go of what is not working, and learning from others.
Even recently, a kind, online, friend helped me through a crisis of confidence and I thank her profusely. We all need support from time to time.
Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom and Stephen Kelley shows you principles and practical strategies that will allow you to tap into your creative potential in your work and personal lives.
The Kelleys are leading experts in innovation, design, and creativity. David founded Stanford University’s “d.school. Guy Kawasaki says “This is the only book about creativity that you’ll ever need.
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Albert Einstein
Approach life with curiosity. Try not to take anything on face value but find inspiration in it. Even the mundane can be interesting. Some of the best comedians take the ordinary and see the humor and irony in it. So many inventions are based on making routine aspects of our life easier.
Question rather than just accept. Ask “Why”, “How”. “What if”
There are different ways to look at problems and challenges by the methods we use for thinking. Take a look at my post Thinking Your Way To Success which talks of Edward de Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats
Learning, researching, and absorbing information is important, of course, but that is akin to rote learning. Creativity isn’t just about rehashing something else that’s done, albeit in a different way.
- Take time out to think, and open your eyes to what’s around you.
- Keep an open mind to new ideas; they can spark them in ourselves. If you’re intolerant to new ideas in others, how can you create them yourself?
- Very little in life is black and white. Even ideas and opinions you disagree with may have some merit.
- Be aware of, but put aside, any thoughts, developed in your past, that hold you back.
- Work through your fears – maybe that bogeyman isn’t scary at all. When we hold ourselves back we are the bogeymen/women ourselves.
- Listen to yourself. You’ll be surprised how much knowledge is already in your brain, waiting for a chance to get out.
Passion & Purpose
Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm. Earl Nightingale
Our passions drive us on to be our most creative.
It’s easy to know what topics and activities we like but do we know why? What is it that makes them interesting to you? Look at this in detail. Delve into the real reasons and be honest with yourself.
Take blogging as an example.
Your immediate answer might be because you like writing, or you like helping others.
- Why do you like writing, which aspects of it do you like the best? Is it when it comes from the heart or from research, is it storytelling …? Why do you write in public and not in a diary?
- What aspect of helping others fires you up the most? Is it information sharing, a desire to teach or motivate others, or the feedback you get back from it?
“Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm.” Earl Nightingale
How to Be Creative When You’re Not Naturally Creative http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/creativity-tips
Surprise: Creativity is a Skill not a Gift! https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-main-ingredient/201306/surprise-creativity-is-skill-not-gift
Next week I’ll explore some practical ways to increase creativity.
What would you add to this list of traits and habits of creative people?
Do you think creativity is more to do with personality or can it be learned?