I firmly believe that everyone is creative, at least to some degree. Being creative is a natural human instinct.
The misunderstanding, the disbelief, occurs because when we talk about 'creativity', we immediately think of artists, musicians, designers, painters, sculptors, authors, crafters, artisans, makers…
Those of us who are more analytically minded, don't identify with those different approaches to exploring and understanding the world around us and therefore tell themselves, "I'm not at creative".
Maybe you see patterns and balance in numbers?
Maybe you see patterns and balance in human interactions?
Maybe you're a scientist and use the detail to prove a hypothesis - surely, developing a hypothesis is a creative process?
Maybe you can see a cupboard full of random ingredients and whip us a feast?
You may not consider yourself creative in the ‘traditional sense’, but really, creativity is just problem-solving in action.
It's following your curiosity.
We’re following our desires, we’re filling a gap, we’re seeing a need, we’re solving a problem, with our businesses.
I believe we’re all born creative, just in different ways.
However, it begs the question…
Or rather, can you re-learn being creative?
If you watch a child play for more than a few moments, you realise how inherently creative they are. It’s how they learn and understand the world.
Would it be fair to say that this innate creativity is ‘trained out of us’ by an education system that favours academia over exploration?
Schools as we understand them in the UK, were first established by the Victorian’s as a way to shape and discipline the workers of the future.
During the Industrial Revolution, emerging industrial businesses needed a ready supply of workers to maintain their future operations.
To some degree, this is still true today, but in this time of digital and technological revolution, the nature of work is changing.
My generation (Gen X) and those following me, no longer need training and preparation for the ‘job for life’ scenario that dominated the post-war reconstruction of Europe.
My father, my father’s father, both spent most of their lives working for one employer – Customs and Excise in the case of my dad, and Imperial Tobacco in the case of my granddad (although the war got in the way for my granddad!).
I’ve had so many jobs, worked so many temporary and fixed term contracts before becoming self-employed, that I’ve lost count! My early CV reads more like a To Do list of crap admin jobs than career progression!
As someone who fell into adult learning as a career path, I find the concept of ‘creativity vs academia’ and how learning is categorised and understood, fascinating.
I'm not going to make any sweeping generalisations about schooling here, there's plenty of evidence to support the fact that things are changing for young people.
But what about those of us who are well embedded into our careers?
We need to find ways to continuously develop our professional skills and keep up with these smart young digital natives who are making us oldies look, well, old!
I've been reading, ‘Out Of Our Minds: Learning To Be Creative’ by Ken Robinson.
A great quote struck me (plus, it's pleasingly alliterate):
Your blogs should kindle your creativity not kill it!
It’s your business, bring your own razzle-dazzle to your words.
Tell your story, your way and do so fearlessly.
Blogging is a very different skill to writing copy, writing sales information, letters or emails.
Blogging is a creative. It's not an academic exercise.
There’s a reason you don’t see academic papers and doctoral publications trending on social media…
They’re dry. They may educate and inform but they don’t entertain.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of writing academically. Anyone who has ever studied at a higher education level will be indoctrinated to write in a certain way in order to pass exams.
But your purpose is not to pass an exam, your purpose is to 'edu-tain' your audience. Help them to learn something new and not even realise it!
(Re-)learning creativity, leads to better, more readable blogs.