So you want to be creative…

My belief about the nature of creativity

I never stopped to think about whether or not I was creative. Until people started saying things to me like “I wish I was creative like  you” or “I don’t have a creative bone in my body”. This was usually when they discovered I was a painter.

Some people are probably innately more creative than others. But at the same time, if one wants to be creative, or develop one’s creativity, it can be done.

Think of young children. When given coloured crayons and paper, they don’t stop to think about whether or not they can, they just draw. Then what happens? Some are better at drawing than others, and are praised for their efforts. Because one drawing is a better likeness of a person does not mean the child is more creative. It simply means he or she has more natural talent for drawing, composing or colour—visual art.

Visual art is not the only expression of creativity. Neither is writing. Cooking, baking, gardening, giving special gifts, making a beautiful home, arranging flowers… the list of ways to express creativity is endless.

About ten years ago, a friend and I ran creativity workshops. It was very rewarding to have participants leave at the end of the weekend excited about new possibilities for self-expression. The sad thing was the number of people who would see me somewhere, and say they would love to do a workshop but… and then whatever was their version of not being creative.

Not everybody needs to develop their creative ability. But I was amazed by how many seemed to want to. And at the same time, were too scared to try. What was that all about, and where did it come from?

I think being creative starts with believing you are. Like a woman I know, who most men find extremely attractive. She is a bit on the plump side, and in my opinion, pretty enough, but nothing special. But I have worked out her secret. She thinks she is gorgeous, so she behaves as if she is, and it seems like everyone else then thinks so too.

So, if you want to be creative, simply start believing that you are. The rest will follow.

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