A while back I wrote about what creativity is. I have a different way of looking at it because my improv experience has taught me that most people think of creativity as the ability to pull things out of thin air, but it’s just not. You’ll have to read that post to hear my full thoughts on that, because today I’m going to talk about something slightly different.
I would say a lot of people also think of personality traits as sliding scales on a Sims game. (I really hope that’s how Sims games work or else I’m going to look real dumb here.) You have 2/10 laziness, 7/10 attractiveness, 5/10 intelligence, etc. Creativity is no different, right?
I actually think it is very different.
All my life, I’ve had things swimming around in my head. Dragons single-handedly fighting off armies of thousands. Powerful spell casters throwing hurricanes and tidal waves at each other, sundering the landscape around them. An evil king increasing the gravity in his throne room to literally force those around him to kneel.
There is always. Always. Something like this in my head—even if I don’t have the willpower to put it to paper, like right now.
This is just part of the way that my brain works, so I was a little surprised when I found out that not everyone thinks like this. To be honest, it still seems a little strange sometimes. But maybe that’s just it.
Maybe having a creative mind isn’t something you put a scale to. Maybe you either have it or you don’t. This is only an inkling of a theory, so I could be way off base, but perhaps there’s a kernel of truth in here somewhere. Hear me out.
If you split it this way, turning it into a dichotomy, it becomes easy to differentiate the sort of people around you. It’s easy for me to split everyone in my writer’s group between creative and non-creative people.
Now, being creative doesn’t necessarily mean coming up with scenes of a book. Maybe it’s hearing new melodies or seeing magic in poetry. Whatever it is, it’s breathing life into something new.
It is important to note that when I say non-creative, it isn’t an insult, merely a descriptor of how our brains function. In fact, some of the best writers in my writer’s group were far more technically inclined. They weren’t creative at all.
You may or may not agree with me, but thinking of people in this way has helped me better accommodate for the strengths and weaknesses of those around me. Putting creative people in technical fields can yield interesting results, and the opposite holds true as well.
You could probably immediately tell me whether or not you’re a creative person with my definition, and if you start thinking about your friends and family, you might be surprised to discover that their profession is something contrary to their personality. Well, you might think it’s contrary, but in actuality they’re just bringing different things to the table.
Just because it’s unconventional doesn’t mean it won’t work.