Fostering Your Creativity

Fostering Creativity

Some people view creativity as a personality trait. They think it really isn’t something to be learned, just hire someone who can do it better. It comes easier to some, that much is true, but not all can learn it so easily. Creativity is not just something that people either have or don’t have, it is a learned trait. 

How do I know this? 

I was born in a family full of logical thinkers/business majors. My dad is an IT manager, my mom was going to major in accounting, my brother in marketing, and my sister in business communications. Meanwhile, I am a writer and artist… A mutant personality in my immediate family. Logical thinking does not come natural to me. (Queue my family mumbling in agreement.)  

Because of this, for a long time I thought I had to find something other than writing to make a living. I forced myself to learn logical thinking and business, and it was not easy. I even took a logic and business class to strengthen my abilities. Over time, logical thinking became more natural and I learned how extremely useful a tool it can be alongside my creative mindset. 

I realized logical thinking and creativity should go hand-in-hand. If you think about it, every craft you ever did as a child had to have reasoning in it somewhere. The popsicle stick house you did when you were four years old was not held up by faith and trust, it was probably held up by Elmer’s Glue™. 

Creativity is the ability to come up with outrageous ideas; logic is knowing when or how to use those ideas. 

Another revelation I had in the midst of my logic class involved me having to relearn some of my creative habits. In focusing purely on logic, I left out the creative aspect of thinking. Having discovered this, I knew I couldn’t have my writing career be fully ‘business’ or fully ‘creative.’ Those two concepts need each other to thrive. 

It’s a tightrope walk. One has to balance both boosting their career through marketing or communication, but also they have to foster their own creativity in order to generate unique ideas to build up their business.

Now, I know this was a broad post, so in turn I am going to go a little bit more in depth about some of these concepts over several blog posts. Let’s start by clearly stating these false perceptions on creativity I will be evaluating:

  1. One cannot learn how to be creative.
  2. Those who are creative cannot possibly thrive in the business world.
  3. Those in the business world cannot possibly be creative.
  4. One can’t make a living if they focus too much on their creativity.
  5. There are no more unique ideas left. 
Stories

The Man In The Shadows – Part 1

Her eyes shone with curiosity. Three years ago, she would have been terrified of him. She would have tried to run. She didn’t know who he was. He could have been a figment of her imagination. Nonetheless, that shadowy figure was real to her and she couldn’t figure out why he was following her.

At the beginning, she just thought it was her father sleepwalking around the house, but one night when she walked her candlestick toward the door, he ran away. She ran to tell her mother, only to see that her father was sleeping soundly. It had not even looked like he had stirred his bedspread since he went to sleep. The discomfort she felt that night was beyond comparison. 

As the years went on, the discomfort faded into habit. She expected him, yet she was also afraid of him. She always had a tinge of worry in her breath at night as the sound of pacing began, but her desire to know more about the figure was greater than any angst she felt. Nothing added up about him. She couldn’t understand why he showed up everywhere, including when she was on holiday away from home. She wanted to know more.

The only things she truly knew about him were the things she had observed through the years. For instance, only she noticed him. Only her. She had asked her roommate at school if she had noticed him when she had come over late at night, once. Her friend shrugged it off and laughed as if it was a preposterous concept. “Oh friend, your imagination is astounding.” That was a year prior.

Three years and she still didn’t know anything about him or why he was following her. She wanted to know why only she could see him. Most days he took up all of her thoughts. She wondered if he was evil, but that seemed unlikely as she didn’t think someone so evil would only taunt her with questions. She wondered if he was angel, demon, or human. The thought that occupied her mind the most: why her?

All of her questions remained unanswered. Each time she tried to approach him, she was confident it would work, but each time she was met with bitter darkness. She didn’t know why she tried, but somehow, she knew if she kept trying, she would manage to get some answers.  

So, just like all the times before, she lit her candle as soon as she heard him pacing behind her door. However, this time she pulled from her closet the black gown she had worn for a funeral years ago and grabbed a black cloth from her nightstand and covered her face. She wanted to match the shadows in which he lurked. 

When she pulled open the door, she half-expected him to disappear as he always did, but he seemed unphased by her presence. In fact, he had not so much as flinched at the sound of the door opening. Surly she did not believe her costume actually worked.

Her hope in satisfying her curiosity grew as she watched his pace, but she could not figure out what she was watching. He was not lurking in the shadows. He was a shadow walking among the shadows of her home, yet he also had a face and all of the features of a man. His demeanor gave her goosebumps and his dark eyes sent fear down her spine. But she had waited so long to meet the man in the shadows, she couldn’t walk away too soon.

Every question about the man that had ever crossed her mind had vanished. Her voice fought to say something, anything against the will of her fear-struck mind. All that managed to come out of her mouth was a breathy, “Why?” The beginning of most of her questions was why. It had to mean something.

He did not respond in the way she had hoped. In fact, he hardly responded at all. 

A creepy smile spread his face, yet it didn’t seem like he had intended for it to be a malicious looking smile. She couldn’t describe it, rather than showing his emotions with his behavior, it was as though she felt what he felt. He felt relieved.