Like Free, Creative is a word I knew was going to be a part of my Core Desired Feelings. As far as my CDF’s go, it’s the least surprising. It’s the one that, when they hear it, people nod. Of course.
Creativity has always been a part of me, and, while I’ve dabbled in this and that, it’s consistently taken one form and that’s Story. Not just writing, mind you. Though I have been writing all my life. But writing is not it. There’s a lot of writing that doesn’t do anything for me. Creative Writing is the obvious qualifier. I have a degree in it, after all. But, over the years, I’ve learned even that is not exactly the thing.
Story is the thing. Story is what I’ve always been obsessed with. I don’t know how you typically played as a kid, but for my siblings and me it was never enough just to play space or cowboys or whatever. We had to have a story first. We had to establish who we were, what we were doing, before we could actually “play”. I don’t know where we got that idea. Maybe it wasn’t just us; maybe it’s a natural instinct in children, but it wasn’t the same without it. Story made it fun.
That’s something that’s stuck with me. I didn’t always want to be a writer, but I always wrote. I always made up stories. I’ve always loved stories. It’s an integral part of my life. Most obviously with NaNoWriMo and, of course, my book.
So, I always knew Creative was going to a be a vital part of the life I wanted to live, but, over the years and especially this last year, I’ve come to realize the deep and multi-faceted nature of that word.
It’s cliché, and corny, to say everyone can be Creative. But, as I’ve said many times before, clichés are clichés for a reason: they usually contain truth. And it is true. We all are Creative, in one way or another. That doesn’t mean, though, that we all are artistic. And that’s the clincher. Just because you are not artistic, does not mean you are not Creative.
(Excuse me while I channel Elizabeth Gilbert for a hot second.)
Art is about aesthetics. Creativity is about creation.
Art is a form. Creativity is a chameleon.
Art is food. Creativity is flavor.
We are all Creative, because we can all act Creatively. I wish I could skywrite that, because it’s amazing. Creativity is not so much a thing itself as the thing that makes other things worthwhile.
You can write Creatively, but writing isn’t always Creative. That’s true of any artform. You can paint non-creatively. You can copy and recreate a masterpiece and it won’t be Creative because there’s no creation involved, just work.
But the process can work the other way, too. You can edit Creatively. You can do traditionally non-creative work Creatively. You can do math Creatively. You can cut hair Creatively. You can do taxes Creatively.
I am a nerd for numbers, yet Economics has never held any fascination for me, but I have a friend who is an accountant and you can tell, when she talks about dividends and profit-and-loss projections, (I have no idea if those are actual things. I just threw words together), you can hear it in her voice: this stuff fascinates her.
This is one of the many reasons I love #CreateLounge. You would think a community centered around Creativity would be full of painters and writers and dancers, but every week I meet editors and travel bloggers and brand coaches.
Creativity might be the most diverse thing on the planet. It knows neither race nor creed nor gender nor classification nor job. There is not a person it cannot bless. There is not a task it cannot turn from benign to divine.
Creativity is life. It’s my life. It’s exactly what I want my life to be about. And like Freedom, it is not always easy. Pursuing it requires strength and courage and sacrifice. It will test everything you are. But, just like Freedom, it is wholly worth it. Because it opens up the world to you.
It is the world.