What does it mean to be creative? If everyone is creative then how can I make use of my creativity and if/when I do, how does it compare to others?
Up until very recently I never thought of my self as a creative person. Even though my mum is a painter, I was never particularly good at art. I liked hearing it, looking at it or even eating it but definitely not creating it.
But... "Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed." Wikipedia
I've made something somehow new and somehow valuable, does that make me creative? Well, NO. I was creative even before doing that.
We all are creative beings! We dream, we imagine, we think. We find solutions to everyday problems, we come up with ingenious ways to make use of a tool, we call our body. We constantly create our reality, we create experiences for ourselves as well as for others, we offer advice, we plan holidays, we draw shapes in the sand with a stick and we place our photos is such a way to tell a story. Our story.
Creativity is not only found in the walls of museums or on big flashing screens, it's not only in other peoples' Instagram pages and it doesn't require drones to be seen. Creativity lies inside of us all, always.
But if that's true, how can I use it?
Well, it's easier said than done.
Ok maybe there's more... Creativity is built. it's moulded, it evolves and it needs work. It's in everyone, from day one! But Mozart wasn't born a musical genius, Dali wasn't drawing insane paintings when he was 3, and J. R. R. Tolkien. didn't write the Lord of The Rings in high school, they worked, hard. They found the one, or more, things that made them happy, and did it, over and over again. Along the way they failed, and sucked and lost hope, but they kept going.
Ok, so? What now?
Step 1: Find what makes you happy!
It needs to bring a smile to your face, whatever it is, it needs to be something you enjoy doing. It doesn't have to be original, it's most probably never going to be original, but it will be something that has your take on it. That's the creative part.
Step 2: Do it!
You have to play that 1st chord in order to learn how to play the whole song. You have to press record to film a video and you have to start with a few words if you want to write a book.
Step 3: Embrace the fact that you suck!
Don't aim for perfection, or you'll never get there. It's ok to suck, it's ok to make something that you don't love and it's absolutely more than ok for other people not to like it either. You'll get better the more you do it, but you have to keep on going. Don't be afraid to make mistake, mistakes teach us the most!
Step 4-1: Appreciate your self!
Love the fact that you're trying, be grateful for the progress, however small, and be kind to yourself when it doesn't turn out the way you had hoped. It takes time and so you need to pat your self in the back and know that you are doing what you can. Always.
Step 4-2: Don't compare yourself to others!
Compare yourself to you, only to you, that's how you'll grow. Notice your progress, realise your improvement, appreciate your time spent doing it.
Step 5: Learn to differentiate your good ideas from your great ideas!
Putting hours and hours of work towards something that just doesn't feel quite right or doesn't fill your heart with joy will tire you out and make you want to quit. Try to distinguish what's a good enough idea from a "WOW that's amazing" idea, so you can have all the energy necessary in order to go all the way.
Step 6: Keep at it!
Start walking, then jog, stumble, find your feet, jog some more, stumble again or even fall, get up and start running.