So you’re at an art gallery looking for inspiration, right? You’re looking at all the different masterpieces and then suddenly you realize that you aren’t creative.
The thought floats into your head like a bad stink, “wait, why am I working in at an office job? Why am I not painting beautiful images, or singing wonderful songs, or writing incredible life-changing books?” Then you remind yourself. “Oh, that’s right. I’m not creative.”
Well, I’m here to tell you if you think that, you’re probably right. Let me explain. If you think you’re not creative then you probably won’t be. In the end, it’s all about the power of belief.
Don’t believe me? I don’t doubt it.
Don’t worry Doctor Strange, this doesn’t require a ton of faith, just some faith, mostly in yourself.
All people are born with creativity
Here’s a common train of thought of someone who thinks they’re not creative:
“Only certain people are creative.”
“Too bad I’m not one of them.”
“I wish I was creative”
“How are certain people so good at what they do?”
“How can I become that good?”
“What’s for lunch?”
“Back to work”
Have you ever thought this? I have. It took me some time to get over this kind of thinking.
For most of my life I saw myself only as an analytical person, good at certain things, but definitely not at art or anything requiring creativity. But thing is, I learned over the years that everyone is creative. It comes back to the mentality of the individual and what the person chooses to believe.
For example, I had this desire to paint around New Year’s Eve a few years ago, but I instantly had the thought that whatever I made wouldn’t be good. Then I read a great article, by an artist who was writing an encouragement to those who felt stuck in their art and it inspired me to pick up the brush and start painting.
Not worrying about the result, but just painting for fun taught me the immense value of trying and not buckling under the pressure of my own perfectionism.
And in the process, the painting turned out to be much better than I expected. The problem which almost prevented me was my own desire to be instantly good.
Creativity comes from creating again and again and again…
I learned it takes a large volume of work to get good at something, especially art. I learned being creative means creating. It’s simpler than a lot of people think. I mean, there’s a lot to the creative process, don’t get me wrong.
But after hearing countless artists, experts in their field say it comes down to just doing it, I considered it to be one of the best pieces of advice.
To quote the wonderful screenwriter, David Mamet, [on writing]
“I’m not any less confused than you are, I just got in the habit of doing it”.
One of the best ways to start is to set aside some time each day, say 15 minutes where you explore a craft you’re passionate or curious about and just create. Set goals for yourself, write a story a week, or paint a picture a week, something that you can track.
If you are able to create a schedule, stick to it, and then tweak it accordingly, you’ll find yourself naturally progressing. If you can’t stick to the schedule then don’t panic! It’s completely normal. Adjust it accordingly. You’ll find your rhythm.
Remember, the difference between doing even something small each day or not doing anything at all is huge.
Bottom line, I don’t believe there’s this special magic that certain people have and others don’t when it comes to creating. There aren’t the blessed few. There’s just those who choose to create and those who think they can’t.
So next time you start thinking about how not creative you are, prove yourself wrong and do something creative and fun. Write, dance, sing, paint, or something completely new. Get in the habit of doing it again and again and you might just find how creative you really are.