It’s a sad fallacy that people still cling to; that there are creatives, and then there’s everybody else. The truth is, we all have that spark of creativity within us. It’s there in abundance when we’re young. Think about it, some of our first instincts are to make sense of the world by mimicking what others do theatrically or drawing what we see on paper. We’re capable of creating. Yet, as we grow up and become adults, the world has slowly beaten the creativity out of us.
It’s important to nurture the creative impulse within us as it’s a skill that can help us solve all sorts of problems in life. It’s not just important for the art or media industry like blogging, graphic designing, animation or music; a creative businessman will be able to solve a logistics issue by coming up with a new plan while a creative engineer may be able to save 2 tonnes of material by thinking outside of the box. Creativity is everything, and that’s why we need to spot all of its enemies and slay them!
Your creativity is more than just a hobby or an interest, it’s an intrinsic part of who you are. Whether you express yourself through strokes of paint on a canvas, the words on a screen or the movement of your hips to music, each and every thing you do is a means of expressing yourself; of sharing an insight with the world that is yours or yours alone. It can help you to get to know yourself if you’re experiencing an identity crisis. It can be your refuge when the world seems harsh and unforgiving. It can give you self affirmation and self belief when your career seem to overlook your accomplishments at every turn.
Worry can seriously hamper the creative mind, bogging it down in a quagmire of self-recrimination and distraction. It’s important to take stock of your worries by committing them to writing and finding ways to at least begin to take action against them. Whether you’re preoccupied by credit card debt settlement, escalating food bills or the daily rigours of work, there’s usually a workable solution. Sometimes, simply cataloging your worries and anxieties can lend you some much needed perspective on them.
Most creatives are plagued by that nagging voice that holds their pen or paintbrush and asks them in quavering tones, “What if you work on this for hours only for it to end up being no good?” This voice should never be allowed to hinder a creative endeavour. It’s usually far more productive to at least attempt to work on a project, regardless of quality. You can always come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes later and make any necessary revision. Of course you can!
Let’s face it, we all lead busy and stressful lives and the ever present fatigue of modern living can be ruinous to the creative impulse. If you come home from work too exhausted to attempt to work on a project, maybe you should take the time in the mornings. Working on a creative outlet is a great way to start the day in a good mood while cognitively engaged enough to meet the day’s challenges!
Would Michelangelo have painted the Sistine Chapel if he’d had access to Audible? Could Botticelli have painted The Birth of Venus while binging Breaking Bad on Netflix? We’ll never know, but it’s hard to argue that the modern era is proliferate with distraction. While you may think that you work well with the TV on in the background or music blaring from your headphones, it’s a much better idea to try and divide your time between the two. By all means keep the TV on while you work but use it as a tool to provide “rest periods” for your brain to help maximize productivity. I know I know, it’s not easy but I’ve made it work myself!
One of my favourite TED Talks to date is Ken Robinson’s “Do schools kill creativity?” The message that I got from the video really stuck with me and I had been embracing my creative soul ever since. I’ve done many things differently and I’ve never been happier. I hope that one day, you’ll find that inner creativity impulse that you’re born with too. Till then. xx Wendy
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