Monday, August 1, 2011

Redefining Creativity

One of my  good blogging friends, V., who blogs over at Life for Me, wrote something awhile back that has stuck with me. As a teacher and a creative writer, V. has thought a lot about what it means to be "a creative person." She's also done a bit of research on the question, and has shared her findings on her blog. Here's what stuck:

"Creativity is not some random magical gift bestowed on the few. It is the result of the winning combination of environment, experience and skill. Creativity is not motivated by fiscal reward, an imposed due date, fear, or competition. It is the result of being empowered with time to solve a problem."

I love how this quote speaks to one's environment, experience, and skill. It's a testament to the way creative people cull from their surroundings to express themselves in fresh and unique ways.

Take another statement--this one was released by a group of faculty members at Buffalo State University:

"creativity [is] a system of relationships between people, places, process, and leadership.
In the latter quote, I love that creativity is described as being about relationships. And also that those relationships are not qualified. As seasoned and unseasoned writers alike know--creativity is bred from many different situations and circumstances, good and bad. Pleasure and pain can both evoke the creative spirit.

I guess I just think both of these definitions of creativity are refreshing, given the fact that we are all told, too often, that creativity is something you either have or you don't. Also, we're often given the impression that creativity is only attributable to the production of  visual, language, or performance art, when creativity--as the first quotation states--is simply our working with "a winning combination" of forces at work in our lives. This blog is about stretching creative muscles, and while I do place an emphasis on creative writing, in particular here, I want to recognize all forms of creative expression. I like talking about creativity as a way of "winning," because I like talking about the ways we find fulfillment in our work and play.

So how are you winning, today? 


  1. Some very interesting takes. It's not something I really ever gave much thought to, honestly. When you think about it though, creativity really is more like an opportunity to create rather than some all-powerful gift of creation. And I really have to agree with the quote about relationships...nothing breeds creativity like the creativity of others or just the inspiration one can receive from another mind or even a unique situation.

    Thanks for this.

  2. I love these quotes, especially the first one. At work, I hear people say all the time, "ask Melissa, she's the creative one." It's a shame, really. I've always thought that creativity resulted from turning inward and finding solutions within yourself, and then having the confidence to implement them. Whether you're a writer or painter, or someone who creatively solves problems or discovers new approaches, it requires confidence and the courage to make yourself vulnerable to show the world what you've come up with. Thanks for visiting A Wide Line. LOVE your blog. Always inspiring.

  3. Hey girl,

    I hadn't had a chance in a couple of days to drop by then when I do...wowza!

    Thanks so much for the blog love. I love the subject of creativity. It is so much like a magical power it completely draws in my attention. The more I learn the less I fearful I am when I find my self stuck in my writing.

  4. Diego, I love that phrase--"an opportunity to create!" It's true. It's not a magical bestowment, it's opportunity. That opportunity is presented to us more often than we think. Sometimes it's simply about being more aware and seeking out that opportunity ourselves.

    Melissa, I'm really enjoying A Wide Line, and really appreciate your dropping by Legs, today! I was always told the same thing, growing up--
    "you do it--you're the creative one." They always said that because I enjoyed drawing and painting. But I'm so glad when I see creativity applied in all manner of ways!

    You're welcome for the blog love, Valerie! I'm so glad you dropped by! Yay for gaining confidence!



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