You Can Be Creative. Even If You Think You Are Not.

Have the words – I’m just not creative – ever come out of your mouth?

I hear them often and even apply these four words to me when I am in the dark forest of a project.

But is this a true statement?

Are some people born with a creative gene and the rest are not?

That sentence – I’m just not creative – should be abolished.

The idea that some elect individuals are born with a creative gene comes from the same people that believe writers are born. Would you believe that about a plumber, an electrician, or a doctor?

Absolutely not. Just ask Chuck Close. He was told he should aim for trade school and body and fender work in eighth grade.

These are terribly lies and limiting beliefs that keep us from living creative, fulfilling lives.

Creativity is only a name for aged, intentional practice.

I can’t count the times I have heard the phrase – I’m just not creative. I wish to stop this nonsense. If you say them to me I promise to be gracious. But remember, creativity is born out of diligent practice and exposure to new ideas.

You may have to read more difficult books and write down definitions of words you do not know to expand your vocabulary.

Perhaps it is time to tell that art teacher you know that you’ve always thought plein air painting was interesting, could they point you in the right direction?

Part of creativity is curiosity – looking for new ways of doing the same old stuff to reinvigorate or uproot established processes.

Ira Glass, famed radio personality and producer, was recorded saying that there is a gap between being a beginner and a professional in creative work. At the edge of the gap – this is where people stop.

We figure that’s it. I guess I’ll never become/attain/change ______.

Maybe you’ve stopped?

Stopped being brave or hopeful because creative work is not easy. We get frustrated with a process or even our own inability to create this great work that we know is harbored deep within.

I challenge you today, and this is just as much for me as it is for you, to examine your process. See what is in your way.

Do you need more practice?

Do you need exposure to creative ideas or people?

Are you doing the very same things that don’t challenge or inspire you and lead to the very same results?

What is in the way? What is creating that gap?

Here’s what Ira Glass has to say about The Gap:


Laziness and Fear – The Two Roadblocks To Our Dream

Whenever I have hope for humanity, I only need to peruse the comment section on any article on the internet to dash them. People are merciless, unforgiving, caustic, seeking out arguments and unbelievably petty. This is why I believe writing, or any art, is a terrifying thing.

We open up shop and, like a gallery, people can now judge what we do. Not only that, we tie our self worth to it. And people do surgery on with a chainsaw.

Little Dude Is Terrified Photo Credit: ⊰◖iFhe◗⊱ via Compfight cc
Little Dude Is Terrified
Photo Credit: ⊰◖iFhe◗⊱ via Compfight cc

This is part of the reason I don’t like submitting. I don’t even like posting blogs, but I make myself. I know it’s all part of the publishing game, but that does not make clicking the submit button any easier. But this fear must be put away if we are to rise to the place of publication.

Fear can cause us to chase comfort. Fear can cause us to choose safety. But it can also make us miss out on something that might breathe life into us and set our souls aflame.

But fear is not the only problem we artists and entrepreneurs face. Laziness is his close ally.

This is the still small voice that says we need to enjoy life now. We need to kick back and relax, it’s been a tough day at work or home. We deserve this. We need it. Relax, have a snack and a margarita.

But this one day of enjoyment can lead to a week. Have you ever sat on your couch staring at a blank screen realizing you just binge watched and entire TV series?

Laziness, like fear, tells us to chill and do something comfortable. Seek easy it says. Seek what satisfies now, not what endures.

But art is not comfortable or easy. It’s bold and difficult. It’s stretching, moving, reaching, taking the stage and standing in the spotlight.

What will you choose today?

Will you reach?

Or will you seek comfort?