Recently, I registered for a 500-word fiction contest. At first it intrigued me as I used to write creatively at one point, however, my next thought was "I don't have time for this."
I felt compelled, nonetheless, and signed up. I had two days to submit the story and did without sacrificing too much time on other things.
For me it wasn't about winning or the competition, it was a way to be accountable to my creativity. There was a deadline, and I had a certain amount of time to create. The funny thing I've experienced, and read, about creativity is that having limits or constraints can actually allow for more creativity. I believe this has to do with activating right brain problem solving skills and mitigating paralysis of choice.
Even though it was only a 500-word fiction contest, I felt a great level of joy during the process of writing and after. I now write this blog post on creativity to remind you, if you've forgotten, the deep level of satisfaction you can get from being creative. I also highly encourage you to make time for it if you haven't been.
Your first thought might be reading this is, "Well, I'm not creative or artistic, so this isn't for me." The artistic part may be true, however, when I speak of creativity, I'm not limiting it to the arts (e.g., music, visual, theatre or writing). It can be anything where you create and feel a connection to your creation or the process of it, be it cooking or coding.
There's so much more to creativity than the arts. Creativity can show up as problem solving as discussed earlier, innovation, ways you adapt, expression, communication including different points of view, etc. I feel coaching requires a certain amount of creativity along with writing these blog posts.
At one point I used to be stuck on the fact I was not drawing and painting anymore and therefore I wasn't being creative. However, I realized I bought into the narrow definition of creativity even though I believe we are all creative beings. I also didn't factor in that we all evolve and sometimes some things do not give us the joy it once used to. Who knows, I might get back into it, but for the time being I prefer writing and other creative pursuits right now.
If what I've been talking about resonates with you so far, I encourage you to make a sacred time for your creativity or recognize all the times you are being creative during the day. To help you can book it in your calendar for a certain time, enter a contest, sign up for a creative outlet like a workshop, or log your creative moments and achievements throughout the day. Whatever it takes to feel that sense of fulfilment that creating or innovating provides.
A recent client, in the creative field, came to me to develop his creativity and share his message on a wider scale. He initially felt he was being more a manager than a maker and wanted to find a better balance. Six months later he has a better balance, prioritizing his creativity like he hasn't before. He is also currently working on his talk which he will be sharing in a prestigious venue in London, England and has two other paid talks lined up. He is now both maker and manager and I'm super proud and happy for him. Go C!
Being creative is not only important for personal and professional satisfaction but for society as well. Many social and environmental issues require innovation solutions and movements or initiatives that address these challenges tend to be led by creative or innovative leaders. I believe creativity is the driving force behind human progress and it allows people to make important and meaningful contributions to our world.
Hopefully, you start creating more or recognizing your existing creativity.