Without thinking about it till I was well into adulthood I have always had a creative side. Acting out stories, making them up to amuse myself, singing, acting, a little sketching now and then were all ways that I was expressing that creative desire in myself.
I’ve been blessed to be around a lot of creative people in my life who have inspired me and encouraged me in my own efforts.
Along the way I’ve run into two things that my experience says are common to creative people.
The first are those folks who look at what I do and say “Oh, I wish I could do that/be creative”, and those days when it seems like I’m just missing some small part that will finally let me be creative. What I’ve learned over the years is that both of those are myths.
A couple weeks back I came across this article on one of my favorite blogs, Lifehacker, “Demystifying the Muse: Five Creativity Myths You Should Stop Believing” by Jory MacKay. I thought it crystalized a lot of what I believe about creativity even as it pointed out myths I still haven’t quite gotten left behind yet.
Points 1 and 3 go primarily to the wishful folk, that you have to be born creative and that creativity can not be learned. Genius may be inborn but most of the rest is technique. Look at virtually any child and watch them create with abandon. That creative impulse tends to ground down in us but I believe it is always there. We also want to believe that somehow creativity is effortless. I’ll pause now while most creative people laugh hysterically.
The other points, You can’t control inspiration, the Lone Creator, and Creativity is only for those with Time and Means, address myths that insist on trying to stop those of us who have decided to give it a go. MacKay offers some very sound basis for the points made and I mean to keep reading this article till the points all sink in.
In the meantime, I’m going to get about the work of being creative.