I first began to acknowledge my creativity about 8 years ago when I first read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. I wrote more about it here, but at first the book left me feeling a little empty because I realized I had missed out.
What did I miss out on?
Opportunity after opportunity to find my personal brand of creativity and practice it. There were so MANY opportunities, yet I never took advantage of them. Total bummer. But, I realized that the book had given me one more opportunity and it was completely up to me to decide whether or not to take it.
What opportunity did the book provide me with?
Knowledge. I was now completely aware of the fact that I was creative. In the past, I would have seen an opportunity for a drawing class or photography course and thought “Not for me. That’s for someone who is creatively gifted.” But, now, I had the knowledge. I was aware. If I didn’t take this opportunity it would be 100% my decision – the responsibility was completely on my shoulders.
What I learned about myself from the book:
- I liked the idea of being creative.
- I wanted to be creative.
- I wished I had taken advantage of opportunities to foster my creativity while in school.
While the book changed everything for me, it was a slow process and I wish I would have come to some realizations more quickly. You are all at many different stops on your own individual creative journeys, but the following can be helpful to everyone:
CREATIVITY: WHAT I WISH I WOULD HAVE KNOWN WHEN I STARTED.
- Creativity is for everyone. Creativity is not exclusive to professional artists and the like. Everyone is creative. No longer can a lack of creativity be your excuse to not do what is going to make you happy. You just have to decide that you are creative and start to practice!
- Creativity is a skill that must be practiced. You would never assume that you could pick up a musical instrument and automatically be the best or start playing a new sport today and tomorrow be the team’s MVP, so why then do so many people assume that they should automatically be good at being creative? Expect that you are going to fail at first – you will be bad. Creativity is a skill that must be practiced. The more you practice it, the better you will be at it. But, you can’t get there without putting in the time.
- Everyone blames someone for their lack of creativity when truly they are the only ones to blame. – If you are reading this, I am going to assume you are an adult. Therefore you and only you are responsible for your life. It doesn’t matter what happened in your creative past – that was the past. This is now. What do you want? What role do you want creativity to play in your life?
So how does this help you?
If you are just getting started on your creative path, your best bet is to make a plan. This doesn’t need to be anything official, but sit down and take a few minutes to think through the following:
- Where are you currently at with your creativity? Be specific.
- Where do you want to get with your creativity?
- How can you get there? Make a plan.
p.s. If you need help thinking through those questions, I have something that will help you do just that – coming soon!