Over the last few weeks I have been pondering what it means to be creative. I think most people would initially say it is a skill set. I am good at this, or I created that. But the more I consider it, I keep coming back to my own situation.
When I look at my team, I know I don’t hold a candle to the skills they offer. I cannot design like my designers, code like my developers, write like my marketers, or edit like my video editors. So…how can I be a creative?
I love this quote by Albert Einstein:
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
― Albert Einstein
See, I look at creativity in this way. It is something you dream and think about and not necessarily something you do. Seven months ago, my wife and I started writing a children’s book based on the local university we attended. As we are entering our final stages of the book, we’ve started to share it with people. From two separate people we got the response, “Wow, you guys are so creative!” That statement really got me thinking–I didn’t illustrate it, and my writing was only sharpened once I brought people in to make it stronger.
So how does this make me creative?
I have come to the conclusion that it is a state a mind. Creativity is in all of us if we allow it. I think the idea of creativity is similar to any practical skill set. You have to allow mental space to develop your creativity. Creativity comes to us all if we allow ourselves to have the mental space. So then the next question is, how do you develop the mental space for creativity?
Unlike science, creativity is messy. It does not fit into nice and neat boxes up in your brain. It is more like a ball of yarn. It’s tangled. It makes weird connections and develops as the day progresses. You need to block out time to allow your mind to wonder. You need the free thinking space to allow for those parts of the brain to relax and develop the ideas waiting inside all of us.
So get out there, take a walk, or just sit and let the mind wonder. Give yourself the space to be creative. It is a state of mind we must provide space for and develop.