Unlike previous beliefs, I’ve not felt neither empowered or encouraged to be more creative. However in time I’ve decided to build habits and adopt beliefs that would allow me to become more creative and especially more creatively productive.
I want to tell you little bit about my creative background, which I’ve almost none. However if I think some forms in which I have expressed myself as a child, it would’ve been cartoons. I loved cartoons, mostly though I read magazines like Donald Duck, Moomintroll and Asterix. In my home I had huge collections of these passed down from my older brothers. My creativity was also influenced by humorous adventure games like Monkey Island and The Lost Vikings.
Cartoons and game worlds did inspire me to draw my own first cartoon. I am not counting any school projects or anything, because to them I did not have purely inner motivation as to these. Later on I did a few cartoons about a fantasy world. I think that the cartoons were expressing quite well my appreciation to both humor story and visuals. Drawing wasn’t my strongest suite, but that’s okay with the cartoons anyway.
In the present day however I am challenged with different kinds of requirements for creativity. We use creativity in all everyday lives. I guess most comfortable form of creative expression for me is writing. I would love to answer thinking, but it’s not really expressing, until work is finalized, so I gotta stick with the writing.
To write productively one most have a daily routine, inspiration alone is not enough. I’ve written long time purely relying on inspiration and now I am working to change that habit once and for all. Reasons for that are many. I’ve started to feel very comfortable writing and using it as a way to express myself. During this summer I explored a whole new side of me, I finally go to write a real story. It took about five attempts before I found something which to write about more than a hour or two. The sixth attempt is a story and a vision about Year 2030. Hopefully I will get to finish it and share with everyone. However as the summer ended, I’ve also lost my place to write it, as it happens I loved write the story outside… And since I’ve lost my place I doubt that the writing will continue, for colder weathers means more time spend inside, and inside I write more serious stuff. Important thing here is the process however, have the process.
Process also includes having a lot of input, if you have a lot of input, then you are able to produce some output. I think the TED talks from the Elizbeth Gilbert are worth watching, they’ve inspired me incredibly to continue working.
What keeps the process going? Flow of course. As I studied the process, I realized that the feeling they are describing is something that I feel like when I am playing games. I lose sense of time and space, and just play on. Or actually that was when I was younger. Now days it’s difficult to encounter such games which take away my place and time. Flow is pretty simple thing in the end. You just need some fairly interesting thing to do, which is sufficiently challenging and rewarding.
The rewarding thing is interesting, because this I learned from the games and flow is that before I used to get to flow easily in almost any game and now I cannot. The reason for that is because I’ve changed the meaning that the games have to my life. They do not have so much meaning to my life so that means I do not really enjoy them. Basically you can create a meaning for your favorite action, so it will become more rewarding. That I’ve done with my writing now.
Writing means so much to me, it structures my thinking to a more understandable form, while at the same time providing interesting challenge at improving in the expression and chance for me to share these insights with other people. I feel as I improve, the more clarity I am able to gain, more clarity the writing gains and so I am feeling rewarding by the process itself. Not to mention the incredible benefit and basis what my writings potentially bring for future discussions and reference for those discussions. I love a good discussions.
When it comes to a team work setting for example, creativity can take a different tone. I’ve felt quite pressured sometimes “to be creative”, but now I understand that such activities should just be dropped.
Creativity is a very interesting thing. I need a lot of background information before my minds starts popping out ideas. In fact my mind pretty much work the way that I just research and it comes to me with the solutions when it’s the time. So being forced in a group session does usually just halt my brain activity completely. That’s why I prefer to research on my own first and then enter the arena of group work.
Groups are tremendously useful thought. Especially when you have “some idea”, meaning some good idea which could be made a great or even excellent idea.
Diversity in groups can provide excellent perspective and truly spark the creative. Perspective is the simplest basis for all creativeness. Basically a great idea can come from anyone, what matters is indeed the perspective, the more “fresh” it is, the more likely for the idea is to be the great one. Homogeneous groups rarely spark have the spark to come up with anything fresh. Ideas need all kinds of life experiences to be born.
Having fun time and some idea sparring partner(s) to develop them is probably the best way to create consistency. To be around a persons who constantly challenge your thinking and you still have one, is a very rewarding!
Lastly I would like to add that shock value in creativity is always huge. If you encounter something unbelievable, well, your beliefs have been challenged, and you’ve probably opened your mind to more options. In the end, creativity is about opening your mind to options. Everyone can do that, it’s just about do you have the courage to?
Next is about initiative, charisma and leadership, which are for everyone!