In which I attempt to answer the question, is there such a thing as a non-creative person?
Years ago, when I was a fledgling writer still getting used to becoming enraptured in the throes of the creative process, I developed a theory:
The world was divided into creative and non-creative people.
Creative people understood when I said I was in the middle of a chapter and couldn't go to a movie with them (or more likely, watch their child--since I wrote at home, I was that Mom who everyone dumped their kids on).
Non-creative people didn't.
Creative people got it when I talked about getting up early to write. Non-creative people just kvetched about hitting the snooze button.
And just like morning people and night owls will never agree on the best schedule for the day, so, too, creative and non-creative people will never see eye to eye.
That is what I used to think.
But then I got schooled.
Schooled in the idea that all of us, every single one, is a creative being. Moreover, our purpose in life, the reason we were put here, is to be creative. Creativity for me means writing (okay, and knitting, too). But for you it might mean gardening. Or sewing. Or lawn mowing. Or playing the ukulele. Or building furniture. I remember once, years ago, having gum surgery and realizing that for my dentist, working on teeth was a creative process.
Creativity is that thing that you do and you don't know time has passed. It is that thing you do when you are totally present without having to bring yourself back to the moment a million times because you are jus there--totally wrapped up in it. It is that thing you do that makes you feel most alive--and afterwards in love with all the world.
And all of us have that creative spark within us. And if we heed it, we'll be happier people. And thus, so will the rest of the world.
I know I'm happier--by five thousand country miles--when I'm honoring that creative spark within. When I'm making the time, and using the energy, to write, to knit, to garden. Because the truth is, creativity does take energy. It is harder to sit at your computer and throw words at the page than it is to surf the internet and read news and celebrity stories because when you're being creative, your brain has to work. It is harder to pick up the knitting rather than just stare at the TV (I speak for myself here) because your fingers have to move.
Creative work requires energy, for sure. But the good news is that after you've expended that energy you'll feel better than you could ever imagine. You'll be exhilarated--and maybe exhausted at the same time. But it will be a good exhaustion, the kind that comes when you've put everything you've got in that moment out on the page, or the canvas, or the garden bed, or into the strings of your guitar, or however you best like to express yourself.
And I suspect that those among us who claim to be not creative have simply not expended the time or energy to figure out where their creativity lies within. And if they did, they'd experience the absolute joy of letting it flow out.
So, yeah, don't tell me that you're not creative--because I know you are. I'm likely preaching to the choir here, but all of us can stand a reminder of this now and then, don't you think?
Did you ever have a time when you thought you weren't creative? Leave a comment and let's discuss.
Photo by laffy4K.