Are you creative? What is creativity, anyway?
I recently read this blog post, “The Seven Elements of a Creative Person,” on lifehacker.com, and thought it was pretty interesting. According to the author, the seven elements are : an “associative orientation,” (basically you daydream a lot), rule-breaking rebelliousness, highly motivated, ambitious, flexible, volatile, and a pain in the butt.
According to these seven elements, I should be pretty creative. My mind wanders endlessly when I should be working, I hate being told what to do, when I set my mind to a task, it gets done, I can touch my toes, I have an Irish temper, and my husband could tell you what a pain in the butt I am.
Most days I don’t feel very creative.
I used to feel very creative. Growing up, I loved to make up stories and draw pictures. I kept journals, made up skits, wrote novellas, and dramatized my life experiences to entertain my friends.
Many people theorize on how schools teach kids to conform instead of being creative. I never had a problem being creative while going to school. Coming up with a good thesis and good reasoning to support it was an excellent opportunity for me to be creative by thinking up and writing about my own ideas.
Getting married was another great opportunity. No wedding planner for me – (we couldn’t afford one, anyway) – I was thrilled to plan (nearly) every detail.
Hobbies are another chance to be creative. I love spending hours on Shutterfly making photo books, (which is way awesomer than scrapbooking, by the way) mostly with pictures I took. I’m sort of the family historian.
What kills my creativity is adulthood. Cooking, cleaning, car maintenance, and many more are, to me, at least, nothing but mundane and soul-killing. I wish I could take satisfaction in cooking a delicious meal or in a beautifully made bed, but I’m impatient for my cup-of-noodles to heat up in the microwave, and honestly, I’m just going to get in that bed again tonight, so what is the point? I guess that’s part of my rebelliousness. Or I’m just impatient.
Work is another great example of how to kill creativity. As a teacher, I get many opportunities to be creative; I can come up with fun learning activities and play silly games with them. But, honestly, with so many demands (keeping up with the curriculum, classroom management, behavior problems, physical fitness testing, standardized testing, parent conferences, grades, report cards…) I mostly just feel exhausted. True, I’m more of an eager beaver at the beginning of the year, so maybe I’m just ready for summer break.
Mostly, in order to maintain creativity in spite of adulthood, I have to force myself to do creative things. Like this blog. I began this blog with the resolution to post something every day, and yet, last week I didn’t post a single time. I forced myself to sit down this evening and write something. And, you know what? Now I feel a little better about myself, and life in general, than I did a few minutes ago.
I don’t buy the “some people are creative and some aren’t” theory. I think creativity is what you do, not who you are. What do you like to do that’s creative? Share your thoughts in the comments below!