I’ve always been creative and always valued creativity. I love the challenge of using my brain to bring something new into the world. I like to use my creativity as an outlet for frustrations, anger, insecurity, joy, happiness, amazement (basically any emotion that gets temporarily bottled up inside). It is also fun to be creative. Thinking of new designs for some furniture (even if I end up buying it from IKEA) or thinking of words that rhymes or have the correct meter; they make my brain sing. I want to be creative all the time. The realities of the world suggest otherwise. Creative endeavors fall by the wayside, as the normal, mundane tasks of work and home life must be done. Not that my normal life is terrible, I love the life I have built for myself and my family. I simply wish I could imbue it with more creative thinking.
In thinking about the goals I have for living a more creative life, I had to think about what creativity really means to me. Creativity for me takes two paths: problem solving and artistic. Initially, I thought it could be practical/applied vs. theoretical/abstract, but thinking of my experience those are more pathways to the ultimate outcomes: solved problems or artistic expression. Even with that bifurcation, often both elements come into play as part of the outcome. So in thinking about goals to create my creative life they can take both paths, and those paths may diverge or converge.
It is also important in setting forth some goals to understand my creative limitations. I would love to be a singer/song writer. But I am not. I cannot find pitch, note, or rhythm. My forays into song writing sounded either like Creed-esque angsty whining or the blues as filtered through the life experiences of an upper middle-class white male who has neither a drug nor terrible financial woes. The best I could hope for would be a song about paying back student loans. Terrible lyrics and no instrumentation suggest my creative talent lies elsewhere. I am also lacking in the visual art department. While I could envision a fantastical statue or a painting, the transition from brain to brush is maddeningly poor. But knowing these things does not make me sad, it frees me. It allows me to direct creative passion in channels where it might flourish. For me that artistic outlet is in the written word. Even if others think it is terrible, my written words rarely frustrate me, they simply flow out. On the other path, I am not an engineer or architect, my most creative problem solving isn’t going to involve complex math or finely detailed diagrams.
With all that in mind, what are my goals in developing my creative life:
- Dedicate time every week to being creative.
- Bring the process out of my head and into reality.
- Find ways to bring creativity into everyday life
- Problem solve without creating more problems
- Write the things that I want to write.
- Foster new creative skills in myself