Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I've been doing a lot of thinking about creativity recently. What, for example makes someone particularly creative? How do you cultivate creativity? And the converse--how do you stifle creativity?

Over the past few months, as I've been paying more attention to writing, I've started to reconsider my understanding of creativity. Previously, I had conflated "creative" with "artistic." And "artistic" with "finger paints.*" I'm starting to realize, however, that "art" isn't just "painting" and creativity comes in many forms. Writing is certainly a form of creative self-expression. Becoming a talented writer and becoming a talented painter both necessitate inspiration, practice, and perseverance. Producing a work--regardless of the medium--requires a willingness to engage in the vicissitudes of the creative process: many false starts, diversions, revisions. I'm not sure it ever gets easier--the work just gets more nuanced.

Do you consider yourself to be creative? Did you have a moment when you started to identify as creative? Any hints on smoothing the creative process?

*I just spent way too long looking for a good photo to illustrate "finger paints." I found the perfect one in Flickr's Creative Commons, but then remembered this post by the Everywhereist, "We do not take photos of other people's children." Foiled. So let's consider this an illustrate-it-yourself post (what? You've never heard of IIY? I might have just made it up, but that's ok, because that's the POINT!)

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