“Lain, I can’t write/scrapbook/blog/sketch. I’m just not creative.”
“Creativity is for OTHER people, not me.”
“I’ve never been creative. I just don’t have ‘it.”
You know what I say? Pshaw.
Creativity is not purely the realm of artists, dancers, and Lady Gaga. Creativity is not relegated to just a few chosen people.
Creativity is your birthright.
If you are familiar with the Bible, you know that God is nothing if not creative (in fact, he’s called the “Creator” for a reason!). And we are made in His image… so (according to my calculations) that means we are creative too. And if you’re not into that Bible stuff, it still doesn’t matter: You’re still creative!
Let’s look backwards: Never has there been a kindergartener who didn’t know how to paint a sun, a rainbow, or a three-headed chicken with no beak. Never has there been a seven-year-old who was worried about her singing voice or his acting abilities. Never has there been a child who couldn’t lie on her back in the grassy field with the scent of dandelions around her, and stare up at the sky and see a hippo, a sandcastle, and a unicorn in the puffy white clouds ahead.
We are born creating, performing, dancing, singing, and LAUGHING. And then somewhere along the way, we lose it.
Maybe it comes when we start getting graded in art (ick!).
Maybe it comes when we start taking lessons on how to be a kid (Gymboree, anyone?).
Maybe it comes when we start having to-do lists and goals and performance reviews and quarterly budget meetings. In any case, what was once as much a part of us as our skin is suddenly alien, out there, other.
I consider it my job to bring it back to you. To get you to recognize that creativity isn’t a magic potion that you either have or you don’t, but a habit, a skill, a muscle — one that grows stronger the more you use it.
And you don’t just have to use it for artistic purposes (note: there is a difference between being artistic and being creative. I am decidedly creative but less artistic. I draw cupcakes and my Pictionary partner sees a hay bale (granted, he was from Kansas…).
You can be creative in the way you prepare your kids’ lunches (see this site on ideas for Bento box lunches).
You can be creative in the way you dress (or in the way you put together outfits on this modern take on paper dolls).
You can be creative in the way you make a dollar scream until it begs for mercy but you still have the cutest house on the block.
You can be creative in the way you help your fifth-grader brainstorm school social issues, or in the way you approach your latest business problem, or in the way you plan a vacation, or in the way you come up with different voices for all the characters when you read to your kids at bedtime.
Creativity is no more restrained to one topic or field or pursuit than spirituality is limited to church.
In the words of Rumi, There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the earth. Find your way, the way that makes you sing inside a little and do a tap dance on your soul. It might be with pastels and paper, or it might be on your next budget spreadsheet, or it might be on the pages of your scrapbook album or through the lens of your camera.
Go to it. And quit your bellyachin’.
P.S. Oh! I almost forgot in all the excitement of climbing up on my soapbox… True Scrap starts on Friday and there is still time to join! Go, go, go now! www.truescrap.com