Why we are all creative, even if we don’t realise it

Come Blog With Me – Day 12

I’ve been reading Brene Brown’s book “The Gifts of Imperfection” again. It’s a powerful book, and really makes you think about the way you treat yourself and think about yourself.

Towards the end of it, there is a chapter about creativity. In it, Brene makes a point that I’ve not come across anywhere else, one which really resonated with me. That our creativity is an expression of our individuality – what we bring to the world is original and cannot be compared.

Since so many of us do compare ourselves unfavourably to others, and wish we had things and talents that other people have, I think this is such an important concept. Every single one of us has a unique combination of talents and skills that makes us who we are.

I didn’t used to talk about creativity, it wasn’t something I ever expressed or related to. After all, I’m a project manager, an organiser, a list maker. I didn’t do creativity, that wasn’t me.

Until I did the 30 Day Challenge in 2012 (which no longer exists but the link will take you to a website about the book that inspired it). I set up a blog and planned to write on it every day. A bit like this blogging challenge, except that the output was very different. In truth, what I’m writing now is the kind of stuff I’d envisaged the 30 Day Challenge would turn out like. But it didn’t at all.

I set out to write for 20 minutes a day, and ended up writing lots of what I now call descriptive snippets. Little slices of life, observations, picking out details within mini stories. And I felt that each one needed a photo, so I either took one or found one from my own archives.

Inside a cranberry tea bagI then launched a couple of ebooks and did quite a few other creative projects including photo cards, a penguin Facebook page and blog, some poetry, flash fiction and 75 word stories, an online magazine, photo challenges and probably many more I’ve forgotten. And I met lots of fabulous creative people – artists, illustrators, authors, film makers, singers – many of whom had buried these talents away and were just rediscovering them.

So 2.5 years on, and I understand what Brene Brown is trying to say and how that relates to me. My natural talent is for thinking and planning, and my work is always going to be based around that, whether I choose to do that in my own business or as an employee. But the thing I discovered that I don’t ever want to lose is my creativity. I enjoy blogging, occasionally dabble in some creative writing, and am always drawn to photograph things around me. And my natural talents and my creative activities combined make me who I am.

Brene lists the following as examples of creative outlets – cooking, writing, drawing, doodling, painting, dancing, decorating, scrapbooking, knitting, collaging, acting and singing. And each of those brings to mind others. So I wholeheartedly agree with her when she says that there is no such thing as creative or non creative people – just people who use their creativity and those who don’t.

Do you think of yourself as creative? What forms of creative expression do you use?

4 thoughts on “Why we are all creative, even if we don’t realise it

  1. Nina, I think that this is such an important message and your journey is inspirational to me. I’ve been on a really similar journey. I feel that there is still a lot of messaging in school and in the world around us that says you are creative or you are not and if you are defined as not creative that you should probably not try an do anything that falls into a creative box. I think that we would live in a much more compassionate, happy, open society if everyone was comfortable with the fact that their creativity is as simple as their own instincts, desires, experiences and skills. This reflects a picture or thought of the day that Lotte posted the other day, I feel really passionate about it! And I’m happy that you took the time to share your thoughts on it.

    • Thanks for the comment Becky, I’m pleased to see that you think it’s an important message. I know so many people who’ve just hidden away their creativity or don’t realise they have any and it’s a shame. I hadn’t really made the connection until I re-read Brene Brown’s book.

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