Creativity is hidden in all of us, We were created, and we can create. Many people have called me creative while using self-deprecating humor to say, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body” or “one single creative brain cell.”
It’s a mistaken notion that creativity is only for people who paint, draw, or sing. Creativity can surface as you solve problems, think of ways to entertain, ask questions, arrange or schedule people for maximum impact, or any number of other activities. Creativity can come in any line of work and life – building, teaching, parenting, cooking, selling, manufacturing, leading, speaking, and on and on.
I once read a little 140 page book my brother gave me for my birthday: Steal Like An Artist – 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon (available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle).
Here are three of the things that I highlighted about creativity:
Don’t Wait To Get Started
Sometimes, we think we need to have everything figured out before we begin anything. This may be why some people don’t think they are creative. You don’t have to know who you are or your style before you begin. Much like a teenager blooming into adulthood, you are becoming who you are by what you try, learn, experience, and do.
Jump into something and it will begin to lead you in the direction that you enjoy and connect with.
Copy people – learn well from others. Mix and remix ideas – there’s nothing new under the sun. Travel and get out of your typical surroundings. Visit other parts of the country or world so your brain can work hard to speed up the creative process. Start with what you like to do and jump in. Don’t worry about the final outcome. Just begin on something.
Geography Is No Longer An Issue
We live in an unprecedented time when it comes to global connections. A few years ago, I met a missionary musician through Twitter. We connected, visited, and three months later, had lunch as he and his family were traveling through our area. Together, we sang, talked, and prayed. The next Sunday morning, he played with our worship team and his wife sang during the services. He now serves in Mexico and we stay in touch through Twitter.
One time, we recorded music at St. Matthew Church in Belleville, Illinois, shipped off all the tracks, and met with the vocal team in Nashville, Tennessee to finish the project.
None of our church media team have an office at the church – it’s all done remotely. We meet once a or twice a year and communicate over email.
You no longer have to be in the same room to work together. Figure out ways to learn from people who are far from you. Listen to podcasts, watch videos, Google everything, and connect with the world for ideas. Experience creativity from all areas of the planet.
Be Boring To Be Creative
Living a life of creativity doesn’t typically come from the guy who burns himself out quickly with staying up late, parties, loose living, and no discipline. Creativity for the long haul comes to the one who gets plenty of sleep, sticks to a schedule, has a job, and opens space in his/her life to work hard with an uncluttered mind.
Figure out ways to decrease or eliminate debt. Once you are free from that type of bondage, you’ve freed up space to be creative. Soak time into your relationships so that you have a happy home and social circle. This will help you be creative for the long haul.
It’s the life without fanfare that typically yields the most creative fruit. Stick to your calendar, work hard, stay focused, love well, and be smart. Set times in your schedule and plan to be creative, work on your projects and think.
I think Christians ought to be the most creative people. Use the gifts God has given you to enjoy life and do some creating.
12 Quotes From The Book:
“Creative people need time to just sit around and do nothing.”
“If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.”
“You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.”
“Pretend to be making something until you actually make something.”
“When people give you advice, they’re really just talking to themselves in the past.”
“It takes a lot of energy to be creative. You don’t have that energy if you waste it on other stuff.”
“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.”
“Your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings. You need to make it uncomfortable. You need to spend some time in another land, among people that do things differently than you. Travel makes the world look new, and when the world looks new, our brains work harder.”
“The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s to write what you like. Write the kind of story you like best—write the story you want to read. The same principle applies to your life and your career:”
“Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by.”
“In the end, creativity isn’t just the things we choose to put in, it’s the things we choose to leave out.”
“School is one thing. Education is another. The two don’t always overlap. Whether you’re in school or not, it’s always your job to get yourself an education.”