Monday, 18 January 2010

Thoughts on Creativity

We're going into slightly dangerous territory here.  I've been spending time thinking about Creativity.  And running with those thoughts.  I'm the kind of someone who can run with thoughts a lot.  Generally the outcome is positive.  Clearer ideas.  Resolved problems.  The odd chewed lip.  Sometimes it can go awry.  The poetry I've written.

But seeing as how this blog is about my creative adventures, and my creative adventures seem to be prompting me to think about Creativity, I'm going with it.

In my last post I wrote about how I really love the way creative people think.  Their willingness to explore new possibilities and say "Yes!" to the unknown.  And one of the people who comes by to read my blog wrote a comment that left me thinking. 

Again, being the kind of gal to have a thought and run with it...  I've been chewing this one over for a couple of days... 

Just to let you know, I found Kim's blog fairly early on in my blogging journey.  He writes Ramblings Of The Bearded One, a thought-provoking, honest and funny blog.  Kim comes across as a thoroughly decent bloke.

Kim commented after my last post, that "The difference between creatives and non-creatives I think is down to fear.  Before we embark we all feel fear of failure and fear of ridicule.  The difference is the creatives don't let the fear stop them."

And I have to agree.

To a degree.

I agree totally that fear often dictates how far we explore different avenues.  I know personally that there have been times in my life that have seen me forced to change my big girl pants.  I believe that people who are committed to exploring their creativity will feel fear and take action anyway. 

But I don't differentiate between creatives and non-creatives. 

I think as human beings we are all inherently creative.  I think we all create each and every day.  New thoughts, new clothes combinations, new meals, new plans, new conversations, new relationships, new perceptions.    Continuously.  And that we're often completely unaware of how fantastically creative we are each day.

I think creativity is on a spectrum.

Go with me on this one.  I'm nearly there.

At one end you have people being innately creative, and not being completely aware of how brilliantly creative they are.  At the other end you have people consciously exploring where their creativity takes them.  Saying "Boo" to fear all the while.

I think it's when we become aware of our creativity that we start to feel fear.  When we consciously start to think about what we're doing creatively.   Then we judge ourselves, our creative thoughts, ideas and actions, and see them as lacking in some way.  We stop the natural "flow" of our innate creativity by trying to predict the outcome of what we're doing.  We don't tend to trust ourselves or our abilities when we're stepping out onto what we perceive as new ground.  

Which is a shame.  Because it's at this point, when we step into the unknown, with our natural creativity, that magic can start to happen a little bit. I think.

I told you.  I took a hold of that comment from Kim for a couple of days and ran with it...

So...

Kim recently recorded this piece he had written. 

It's specifically for you.  Listen to it.  It's true.

WARNING:   You may need a noo-noo and a pillow while listening to this recording.  Kim has fairly soothing tones, and should, (immediately, if not sooner), be employed to read stories on Radio 4 after 10pm.  There would be far less insomnia in Britain if he did.  (Not because he's dull as dust but because even grown ups need a good story read to them at bedtime.  Oh, you know what I mean.)    

10 comments:

  1. Aw, thank you! Makes me feel special to be mentioned in someone else's blog post :)

    I agree with you and believe everyone is creative. The distinction between creatives and non-creatives was meant as an outside distinction - one labelled by other people.

    My wife is an artist and we've sometimes discussed other people we know who are very creative but never progress it beyond a hobby. And the only difference is that my wife is out there promoting and selling her work (www.maggieayres.co.uk - shameless plug, I know...), and the others aren't.

    The creativity is there, but the fear they will be ridiculed, or fail, or not be taken seriously, or not sell anything - this is what holds them back - their fear, not their ability.

    Oh, and by the way, my wife will start to fall asleep too if I talk for a while, especially in the evening - although she insists it's because it's soothing not that I'm boring her...

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  2. I'll be listening to your recording each time fear creeps up on me! Thank you for putting it out into the blogosphere. I'll also be taking a look at your wife's website, so thank you for the shameless plug! I totally agree with you regarding coming from a place of fear. It's my intention that I continue this creative journey as far as I can take it, even though there are times where I find myself breathing quite rapidly into a paper bag... And not just because it's got gin in it.

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  3. It's so nice to meet you and I can tell I'm going to learn a lot from your blog and enjoy every minute of it!

    You've so many excellent ideas in this post, why, you've launched about another 15 post ideas~

    I heard Carol Burnett say once that when she's afraid of doing something, she likes to think of her fear as a woman named "Phyllis".

    So she says to Phyliss to just be quiet and shut up.

    I like it.

    I think too, yes, you are SO right, fear is self limiting, but vision can be even more so.

    I believe what sets me apart as an entrepreneur is not so much going foward in the face of fear (because businesses are always the great unknown) but having vision.

    I can "see" the finished result and because of that vision, my fear is greatly diminished.

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  4. Hi Entrepreneur Chick, thank you for leaving such a great comment. You've really got me thinking about the nature of fear, and our "vision". I'll be chewing that over for the next couple of days. I really like the idea of you being able to "see" your vision, and how that diminishes your fear. I deal with fear differently and will be writing about that in a different post, I think. After I've mulled it over!

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  5. Mimi and Tilly,

    Thank you!

    There's an award waiting for you over at my blog. Go look... :)

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  6. What a wonderfully profound piece Emma.
    You're truly the genuine article when it comes to being creative because it's just as important to allow 'us' into your mind as appreciate your talents.

    I love the 'Phyllis' scenario we need some kind of switch to reinforce our positivity.

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  7. BRAVO!!

    I will be popping in again to see what's new. And I know it will be great because you are letting that stream of creativity flow from your soul.
    Blessings,
    Pam

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  8. Excellent blog! :) I totally agree with you that we are all creative beings. I always branded myself as 'uncreative' (for years) but the truth was I was scared of letting my creative out incase I failed. Over the past year I have finally had the courage to tell my 'Phyllis' to shut up and my creativity has poured out. Its not always as great as I hope but I'm enjoying every moment of it.

    Looking forward to your next post!

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  9. Hey Emma,
    Glad your enjoying your bout of bloghopilitis, It's good there isn't a cure as I'm enjoying it a lot too! :) Loving this post by the way. It got me through a few creativity fear minefields in the past week or two,
    Lizzy xxx

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  10. Entrepreneur Chick, thank you for the award. I feel really touched by your support. It is very much appreciated. I will be posting about your award in my next post. I'm currently having a think about who to pass it on to. Like I said in my post, I like to chew things over!

    Cleo. thank you for your kind words and ongoing support. It's lovely to have such great online blogging friends.

    Hi Pam, thanks for stopping by and leaving a great comment. You are welcome any time. :)

    Saraharmony, I am so glad to hear you are giving "Phyllis" a piece of your mind! I have a "Phyllis" too. I don't think Phyllis means any harm, I think she's just trying to keep us safe as we venture into unknown territory, but she needs to calm down and trust that everything will be ok! Hope you're having a great day. :)

    Hi Lizzy, I'm glad this post has been useful. I've been listening Kim each time I've had a wobble too. If I keep on like this, I'll know it off by heart...! Sending smiles.

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