How Do You Rediscover Your Creativity?
For many of my earlier years I believed each of my stuffed animals was alive. Every time I left the room they huddled around my miniature tea set drinking and chatting. I tried to tell myself they weren’t real, but I couldn’t help it. My imagination overpowered my practicality. Maybe this sounds like I was more a crazy child than a creative one, but we forgotten middle children get left to our own devices. Of course today we have the opposite problem: believing a stuffed animal comes to life when you leave the room warrants a trip to a psychologist rather than indicating an active imagination.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Orange Conference in Atlanta, Georgia–a great resource for church youth leaders and volunteers–and listened to Jared Herd speak on the scientific proof that we lose our creativity with age. I have noticed this in my own life but always attributed it to my laziness. Now I know I’m also working against nature. So how do we re-clasp what came so easily to us as children?
The most intensely creative I’ve ever had to be was during the fall semester of my senior year of college. I took a poetry workshop required for my English degree and in my first lecture learned we would be required to write and turn in four poems a week. Four decent poems a week. (Professor Haley did not distribute mere completion grades.) With my grade on the line and a tight deadline, my creative juices found ways to flow I didn’t know were possible before. From this experience, I believe being forced to be creative is the best bet we have at maintaining creativity. Waiting for the moment to strike you is probably the worst. Though that happens–to some more often than others–it’s unsafe for your fading creativity to count on it.
For me, this blog has helped force my creativity, but I know I must be more proactive. I must keep myself attuned to beauty, ideas, new ways of thinking. The moment we begin to feel comfortable and are able to predict the next move, we’ve allowed for more shedding of our creative pounds.
Little depresses me more than the thought of allowing “real life” to chip away at the creativity I was born with, so I’ve decided to fight against myself and nature to reclaim my creative rights. Who’s with me?
Oh, I’m definitely with you. (And yes, deadlines are a great motivator.) Let’s take back our creativity!
I totally thought my stuffed animals came to life when I left the room, too…and I thought this even before Toy Story came along…I would sometimes try to come back in my room really quickly to “catch” them. 😉
That’s interesting that age can decrease creativity – I can definitely believe that. It’s also difficult for me to blog consistently, but I’m hoping to get better at it now that I have a bit more free time on my hands. 😛
Miss you too! And I love that you tried to catch your stuffed animals coming to life! Looking forward to reading everything your new creative flow is going to produce.
I’m signing up! going to take a session of canvas painting ( a mom’s gift) & maybe even more after that. It’s funny at my age (your mom) I have a need to be creative. I heard someone say we are most like God when we are being creative.
love you, sweetie
WOW! Canvas painting…I am quite impressed D!
Andrea, unfortunately, with life (or maybe just Amercain life…or maybe just my life) comes the “need” to be quick and cheap…one of my favorite books is “The View from Saturday” and one line even says, “There were times in school when a person had to do things fast, cheap, and without character.”
It is wonderful when we hop off the busy treadmill of life and allow LIFE to be breathed back in…for when we slow down and invest ourselves, then character is born.
Have a great week, and may you find yourself being remarkably creative!!
Thanks, Shelly! Sounds like a book I should check out. And mom, I can’t wait to see your first painting. You’re one of the most creative people I know. Just today someone was commenting on your decorating abilities. You’re an inspiration 🙂
you’re absolutely right, we’ve got to tease the boundaries of our ability! It’d be great to read your poems! 🙂
I’m with you!
But four poems a week? I’m mere days away from completing an English degree and I have no interest in writing four poems a week much less four decent ones. My creative writing professor has threatened to get me a shirt that says, “I am not a poet.”
Ha! I’m sure you’re more a poet than you think. Congrats on graduating!
Andrea – I read this blog with delight – as someone who graduated from college, then stayed home with 5 kids for 30 years, began to “work” on a lark at 53 – built a career, taught seminars, learned to paint and now blog nearing 71. I don’t know how to measure creativity – but it’s fun to just keep going and keep trying.