Myths of Creativity
Only some are endowed
It’s true that some people seem to have a special gift when it comes to their creative talents, but while their talents might be different, they are not alone in being given creative abilities. Everyone has them.
Creativity comes easy ( to those that have the gift)
Creativity takes work! Practice. Repetition. Those people you think are especially endowed probably just have a better work ethic when it comes to their talents. Even Eureka moments tend to happen after sustained work or period of thinking about a problem or issue.
Creative people work hard to make it look easy.
Creativity is for Starving Artists. I don’t want to starve.
Whether or not you choose to pursue the arts as a profession has no bearing on your ability to create. You can choose to create in your down time – it’s very relaxing – as a way to destress from the career you did choose. There are also many ways to be creative within the business world. Take Steve Jobs for example. He was highly creative and very successful.
Choosing to pursue a creative career path can be challenging if one’s focus is on extrinsic rewards such as money and fame. Creating first for the intrinsic rewards ensures more creative freedom, and therefore less pain and frustration in the actual creative process.
Creativity is limited to the arts.
Not so either. You don’t have to be a painter, dancer, musician, choreographer, calligraphist, author, poet, or other more socially obvious creative. Creativity happens in problem solving, in dealing with people, in using your imagination, in the act of empathy, in faith, in setting goals, in designing systems, and more.
Personally, I think we all are born with an artistic bent that we could re-discover and explore if we allowed ourselves to. Even so, creativity can be developed across various areas of your life without a focus on the artistic, per se.
Creativity happens in a vacuum
Not so. Ideas are universal and very rarely are they born in the mind of only one person. One thing inspires another inspires another, just as one person inspires another inspires another.
We’ll talk later in this course about the need for time and space alone to create, but we should not completely isolate ourselves for creativity’s sake. It doesn’t work that way.
Creativity comes from the mentally ill, or will make one mentally ill.
While it’s true that many creatives have become known as much for their madness as their creative genius, they are not one and the same. Many, many creatives are perfectly normal, as normal goes. And perhaps a little crazy is a good thing.