We are all beautifully creative humans. I believe that the more creativity we can incorporate into our day-to-day lives the more fulfilling, interesting and meaningful our lives become. Here, I share a few thoughts on why it’s important and some ways to think about everyday creativity.
What is Creativity?
The dictionary defines creativity as ‘the use of imagination or original ideas to create something’. Edward de Bono says ‘Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way’.
Creativity is making things. Creativity is breaking out of a rut. Creativity is doing things differently. Seeing things from a different perspective. It’s inventiveness, playfulness and experimentation. My idea of what constitutes creativity and your idea will be completely different and that is part of the magic. Creativity is personal and is an expression of self.
Why is creativity important?
For many years I didn’t do anything creative at all – and that makes me sad. I now know that being creative brings pleasure, fulfilment and meaning. Creativity carries with it a sense of possibility and optimism. Creativity is a form of self-expression; it allows us to have a conversation with ourselves about our interests and desires. Utilising our innate creativity can be a way to understand ourselves better, to question who we are, where we are within the world around us. It is a way to better understand what lights us up, what makes us curious and excited. Creating things allows our head, heart and hands to work in unison.
Being creative can bring joy, delight and light. But if you’re not using your innate creativity it’s not just a missed opportunity, it has consequences. Brene Brown writes powerfully about what happens to our untapped creativity:
How to be more creative
I like to challenge myself to be creative in small ways. I like to think about how I can do things differently, or in a new way to disrupt the hum-drum a little. So, whether its walking a different way, putting an outfit together differently, cooking a new recipe, seeking an unusual ingredient, going to places I’ve never been to before, reading up about a subject which I know very little about, listening to a new podcast…I try to disrupt my habitual patterns just a little.
I go out looking for inspiration, actively seeking new or interesting sights, people and places, finding and consciously absorbing details more closely than before.
I love the idea from Julia Cameron of an artist’s date. This is where you set a creativity date with yourself and you do something nourishing, a stolen window of time to spend on your own, doing something ‘enchanting’ and creative.
It can be useful to think about the joys and passions you had as a child, what did you love to do but haven’t done for ages?
Documenting ideas, capturing and curating them can be powerful. I like to write down all of the ways in which I could challenge myself, do things differently, things I’d like to try, things I enjoy, a running list to remind me and nudge me. I also like to photograph things which surprise and delight me, things which I find beautiful or intriguing.