Debunking creative myths for DIYMFA

This week’s QotW prompt is this:

Today we’re shifting gears a bit. In chapter 6 of DIY MFA, I debunk five myths about creativity. These myths are:

  1. Creativity is an exclusive club, and you can’t be part of it.
  2. Creativity is innate–you either have it or you don’t.
  3. Creativity is driven by chaos, so there’s no way to control it.
  4. Creativity is all about getting that one “Big Idea.”
  5. Creativity is focusing on an idea until it’s perfect.

We were to choose one and run with it.

Gabriela, however, wrote about her struggles with numbers three to five.

So . . . I’m going to tackle one and two.

I’m firmly of the opinion that everyone is creative in their own way and in their own realm of expertise. Just because my creativity expresses itself in the invention of stories doesn’t mean that everyone’s will work the same way.

My husband, for example, is, as I have mentioned before on this blog, Mr. Science. His first career was as a medical laboratory technologist. Now, he’s a network administrator, but he is also a programmer, and technical wizard. His hobbies include geology, astronomy, and cosmology.

Since he works for a charity, he has to find ways to do things economically. This means doing a lot of the work himself. He’s developed the registration system for his employer’s summer camp program. He’s put together their passcard system for the enhanced change rooms. He created their web page (someone else was responsible for the graphics and content) and has it set up so that the other employees in various departments can update content themselves.

Now, he’s working on a new program which will focus on finding work placements for autistic youth. His role is to develop his employer’s documentation and reporting system for the program.

He is so creative in his realm of expertise.

Creativity isn’t just about making art. It’s about making an art out of the work you do.

To shift gears a bit, my weekly curation posts are all about fostering the creativity of my followers.

I long ago realised that I’m not in a place in my career where I feel comfortable imparting writing advice. There’s so much of it out there on the interwebz and it’s shared by people who are far more articulate that I can be at this point.

I follow a lot of these people and so, when I come across a writing post or article that really speaks to me as a writer, I share it. A few years ago, I collected these posts into a weekly curation I call Tipsday. It’s kind of like an informal learning opportunity for writers. I’ve learned so much from the people I follow, I just want to share the wealth of their knowledge.

Other things pop my mental corn. Yes, just sit with that image for a minute. Your skull is a big pan, full of popcorn, apply heat (interesting posts and articles), shake it around, and pop! Pop-pop-pop-pop-pop!

This used to happen all the time in university. I’d see connections between all the seemingly random things I was learning and the ideas would go zinging around inside my head. That’s when I started journaling, and when I started working on my first novel.

I also think about the movie Working Girl in this context. The protagonist, Tess, gets great business ideas from reading the society column and business articles in the paper. Disparate ideas coming together to make awesome.

That’s what Thoughty Thursday is all about.

While Tipsday is pretty much focused on writing, Thoughty Thursday could help anyone be creative in any endeavour. I just hope that the things that interest me might have some kind of positive impact on others.

And so there you have it. My take on creativity. It’s not en exclusive club and it’s not something you have to be born with. It just takes a few juicy ideas to get things going.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more Ad Astra reportage.