When we think of being creative, we commonly think of influential celebrities and artist throughout history doing what makes them brilliant. Thinking of these individuals conjures up a thought of the artistic medium they use. For example, Madonna sings and dances, Eminem raps, Beethoven composed, Stephen King writes, Leonard Bernstein conducted, etc. Yet in truth, all people are multi-faceted beings, and creatives, just like everyone else, often enjoy other ways of being creative (in addition to many things that probably aren’t especially creative).
For myself, in addition to my main musical activities, I have noticed that there are many other creative activities which I do on a regular basis. Here’s a list of creative activities I routinely work do:
- writing this blog (!), website work, piano playing, teaching, composing, improvising piano, songwriting, rapping, singing, performing (in any way), writing music, drawing, coloring, recording video, editing video, recording podcast episodes, improv comedy, writing marketing materials of any kind.
Also, I do many activities which are creatively-inspiring activities in their own right:
- walking in nature, exercise, listening to music and empowering recordings, thinking, watching movies, any type of socializing, and reading.
Since you are reading this, then you are primarily relating to me, at least here, as a writer. Yet if you know me personally or professionally, you may know me as a pianist, or piano teacher. You may also know me as a composer, or a songwriter, or a rapper who plays piano. All these represent different modes of creativity.
There have been many times when I have gotten great creative satisfaction out of designing a new web page. The same is true for writing this blog. In fact, I have noticed recently just how much I have been getting creatively out of my 365 Day Blogging Project. Every single day, I get to come up with some new thoughts, arrange them here, and publish. That is creative!
I suppose that the moral of this tale is that we should acknowledge the many ways we are creative. It doesn’t have to look like one thing. If you look for it, you are probably creative in multiple areas of your life (And if not, what are you waiting for?).
Last year, my wife and I designed a course called the “Creativity Masterclass.” In this workshop, we had the participants doing all kinds of creative activities, including: writing their thoughts down stream of consciousness, making up goofy stories about people in photographs, singing their words instead of speaking them, and banging on pots and pans. The point was to get people to connect with the creative spirit inside of them, which was not limited to the obvious creative activities we think of.
My dad taught me something one day when we were discussing his work life (he is a retired computer programmer). He told me how much creative satisfaction he got out of computer programming. I had never thought of his work in that way, but in this moment I gained a greater appreciation for just how many ways a person can be creative.
Doing the Artist Mindset Podcast (discussed so far here and here) also inspires me to discuss this topic. I have already had 5 different interviews with creative people, including a composer, a blues harmonica player, an audio engineer, a writer, and a print gallery owner. These experiences are reminding me of the myriad ways that artists choose to be creative. I think it’s equally true that many people you might not think of as creatives are doing activities that require creativity on a daily basis (for example, marketers, people in advertising, and speakers).
There are just so many ways to be creative! Look for it in your own life, and I think you will see how you already are creative, or at least where you could start to be creative.