Intermezzo: On Creativity

Creativity for me has always been something of a bugaboo. I’m not speaking about out-of-the-box thinking – that’s par for the course and I’m surprised as often as I surprise there. I certainly don’t have all the answers but at least my questions lead to more interesting answers. Even if they’re sometimes the uncomfortable questions no one wants to ask.

The creativity I’m talking about is just that – the power to create. Some apply flame to metal and come out with some amazing sculptures. Others pen to paper and viola – art. I am at best a poor, squinty eyed sketch artist. My forte has always been writing and it has taken a lot of effort – and practice – separating academic, professional and my tendency to want to be a creative writing in everything I do.
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I didn’t take it as challenge or a game. But I asked questions – lots of questions. And I asked for comments – pulled them like teeth if I had to. Until I slowly, iteratively got my styles into place. While I’ll readily admit I tend to want to fall back to creative writing and flowery turns of phrase I can at least catch myself doing it and correct it before a final draft. Thankfully, at least according to my critics, I’ve been able to maintain an engaging style even as I drive to further succinctness.

But what is it about creativity that makes it so confoundedly elusive. Yes, its work, whole frames don’t just pop into head. You chew on it with your brain-teeth. You gnash and snap at it. Then when you stop thinking about it completely – pop – it’s in your head. The subconscious kept working on it.

I wonder, is that how creativity is for everyone.

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4 thoughts on “Intermezzo: On Creativity

  1. Steve Romanoff says:

    I think creativity is challenging for some because their minds have not the time nor the bandwidth to focus. Personally, I get so bogged down in life’s to-do lists and the job (and school) leaving little time to spend on creative thinking. I frequently wonder how the great story-tellers are able to fabricate adventures, drama and spirited tales. I think it requires, as you put it, work. Work takes time and is there room for creative thinking? Maybe one day I’ll have the time and desire to craft the next great tale.

    • Sam Adams says:

      That’s an excellent point – especially if you’re engaged in analytical duties most of the time. You have to give yourself time and space to adjust the thought train onto the creativity track.
      Or properly incentivize it.

  2. 51 Percent says:

    You have to take time for creativity. It could simply be doing something out of the ordinary (so it doesn’t seem like you’re imposing more work yourself), like spending time with new people or throwing in a new outdoor activity. There is a consequence — you end up being a jack of all trades but master of none. For instance, guitarist friends spend hours and hours at a time practicing to fine tune their abilities and hopefully be able to move on to the next level to try new things within the area of music. They are masters of their craft. But without exposure to oddly different experiences, they limit their creative-thinking pace. It’s a hard, but important, balance to strike.

    • Sam Adams says:

      That’s an excellent point. I do agree, that the more time I spend disconnected the more my creativity comes to the forefront.

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