Do You Have Creative Constipation?

Do you believe that creativity is something you are born with or that it needs to be cultivated, or sweated and strained over as if it was an ordeal? What if imagination came as part and parcel of this human existence? According to Sir Ken Robinson, an author and speaker whose TEDtalk “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” is the most watched in their history, we don’t grow into creativity. We grow out of it. Sadly, he died in August of 2020, of cancer. His legacy lives on.

He expressed that creativity as “original ideas that have value”. Who decides what is valuable? My contention is that we each choose for ourselves what matters most. Inspiration is nourishing and creativity can be our life blood. Remember when you were a child and you could spend hours drawing, coloring, writing, dancing, and making up games? (That is, if you got to be a child.) Time stood still and before you knew it, you were told it was bedtime. Maybe the mental movie continued behind closed eyes as you entered dreamland.

As an adult, do you embrace your creativity or does your inner critic criticize your way out of it? Perhaps if you were told you wouldn’t be able to monetize creativity, you squished it down. If a teacher or parent let you know that you should color in the lines, lip synch or stop believing in the creative spirit that inspires you, your creative spirit may have vanished into thin air.

If you are a writer, do you get writer’s block? I have heard one professional writer say that she doesn’t get it, but instead, writer’s “runs”. She tells me that the Muse speaks to her at all hours and sometimes won’t let her sleep until she does its bidding. It’s all about being willing to risk feeling vulnerable when taking thoughts from our heads and putting them out on paper or a computer screen.

Do you want to develop your inner Creativa? Here are some ideas:

· Spend time with children and observe how lighthearted they can be.

· Be in nature and drink in the wild beauty.

· Dance like everyone is watching, not caring if you will be judged.

· See the world as a writing prompt.

· Write with all your senses on full blast. See, smell, taste, touch and hear the world around you.

· Don’t count the words. Write until you are finished. You’ll know, just like when a cake is fully baked.

· Let your writing write you as if you are channeling.

· Listen to music as you write or be in silence, whatever pleases you.

· Indulge in a decadent treat and then describe it in writing.

· Don’t compare yourself to others. Your writing is shaped by your own experience.

The author of the classic novel Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert expressed her contention on creativity in a TEDtalk from a few years back. She posed the idea that we creative types think we are running the show, but really, we are the servants of the creation itself, working at its whim, at its beck and call. If you felt limitlessly creative, what would you do? Perhaps, every day you’ll work on writing your book.

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