Being creative – Its not what you think it is.

I was following some discussions on Twitter and craft blogs that talked about creativity. They were looking at creativity as a delicate little flower that was easily crushed. For me a better metaphor is that creativity is the lion you ride on when you’ve just completed a project.


Shoki riding a shishi lion by Katsushika Hokusai

So here’s my inner dialogue on the subject.

Being creative, that’s about having good ideas, right?

No, its not. Being creative is about manifesting those ideas into reality. Often to get to your goal you are going to have to put in a lot of hard graft.

But surely if I work too hard I’ll burn out?

With the exceptions of people who forget to eat, drink and exercise that’s actually quite unlikely.  Burn out is caused by stress and stress is not caused by doing the thing you enjoy.

So what does cause stress?

Rushing a task is a sure way to cause trouble, a rushed task often comes out badly and needs redoing which in turn means it takes longer. Often people handle perfectionism the wrong way round too. If you’ve a tricky step to complete, practice it on some scrap until you are happy with your technique. Then you can apply that to your project. Worrying about what others might think is another point that could cause stress. Yes there will be some trolls and sycophants, they really don’t give you any insight. The people you want to listen to are those who also create, but remember you don’t have to agree with every point they make. Those are also the right kind of people who will give you advice on how to do better next time. But if you don’t actually achieve anything, how can they give you feedback?

But I work really hard at what I do and never achieve anything.

Set yourself smaller, easier goals. Or do a mini project. Doing and achieving can give you a chance to ride that lion and to give you a boost to get a bigger project done.

But I’m just no good!

I’m not much of a believer in natural talent. The best way to get better is to do it and make mistakes. If you can do that in a group of like minded people or class environment then you can get feedback and potentially learn quicker.

So your homework is to go out and make or repair something and Ride That Lion.

4 thoughts on “Being creative – Its not what you think it is.

  1. Trevor says:

    Hi there! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up
    to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Norman Bagwell says:

    Highly energetic blog, I liked that bit. Will there be a part 2?

  3. […] that meant that I still wanted to keep writing after that was over. This resulted in a few essays on Makers over on Medium as well as here on the […]

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