I’m writing a new book on creativity. Not sure why I’m doing this right now since I have several novels just waiting to be published, but creativity is a subject that is very dear to my heart and one that I have been thinking about most of my life. I was an unusually creative child. My teachers labeled me, ‘the most creative child they had ever seen.’ (I think all children are the most creative I have ever seen) My professors urged me to do nothing but write, and not to write for publication. They felt it would ruin my creativity. Could be.
But what exactly is creativity? Is it a hard to define, multifaceted way of problem solving? Partially. But to understand creativity we can’t just look at it as an academic problem. Creativity is not just a mental activity. It’s a well-spring, a fountain of emotion and expression. On some level it is deeply spiritual, connecting parts of our experience together in unusual ways. Creativity demands physical response. We must act on it when inspiration strikes. In that way, it’s almost like a physical need. Highly creative people certainly feel that they have a physical need to create. This need is so strong that it ranks right up there with the physical drive to eat and sleep and have sex and sometimes supersedes all of those.
I just found this definition on the net: ‘Sadness is the wellspring of creativity.’ Well, maybe, but so is happiness, excitement, boredom and the deep stillness of having nothing to do. Creativity can come from every aspect of our lives and just as there is no easy definition of creativity, there is no one solution to the problem of how to teach and increase it in our lives and in our society. I can offer one possible reason why there is less creativity in our busy lives. Our lives are too full of stuff going on. Too much time watching TV (don’t have a TV). Too much time on the internet (guilty). Too many endless details and to-do lists (definitely guilty).
Creativity is as complex and multifaceted as life itself. I’ll even go so far as to say that creativity is not quite the same thing for each individual. Our experiences are far too unique to define in only one way. Creativity is a never-ending prism, a labyrinth of endless possibilities. Creativity is a delicious dream from which I never want to awake.