12 Most Pervasive Lies About Creativity
I wish I was creative as that guy. I could never be as creative as her. I’m not creative.
These are statements heard around the world on any given day. But what does it actually mean to be creative or have creativity? What does the word “creativity” mean?
The masses have marginalized this word into a crystal goblet for the chosen few. Creativity is not a crystal goblet. This is a lie.
Here are 12 more lies about creativity:
1. Creativity only happens in the arts
The idea that creativity is segregated to only one area is the biggest lie of them all. The dictionary defines creativity as “the ability to think new things or have new ideas.”
To be creative is to do a task differently, to look at a problem with new eyes, to take on the familiar in a new way. Creativity is everywhere and can happen in every job. The scientist is creative, the teacher who devises a new lesson plan is creative, the mom who doesn’t use a recipe to cook is creative as is the accountant who comes up with a new payroll system.
2. Creativity only happens to special people
“Creativity is not the possession of some special talent. It’s about the willingness to play.”~ John Cleese
Not only is creativity everywhere, it is in everyone. Everyone has the capacity to solve problems or to take on a task in a different way. Unfortunately, that’s not the common perception. Many people say, “I don’t think like a creative person.” This just isn’t true. It is a commonly thought that creativity happens in a special part of the brain. But does it? New evidence suggests that right- and left-brain thinking is bunk.
3. Creativity only occurs in flashes of spectacular light
An idea shoots from the sky in a brilliant spectacle of color and light producing a wonder of creativity. Creativity does not burst forth like fireworks.
I speak from personal experience on this: The act of creativity, in my case writing, comes from habit and consistency, not flash happenstance. If you ask a writer how long it takes to finish a draft, the answer will come back as anywhere from six months to a year. Perhaps two years or even more. Writing is a “creative” act. So why does it take so long?
My creativity occurs through a practical drawn out process that involves multiple rewrites, questions, and edits. No flashes here.