“Can you teach creativity?” Debra asked.
“It’s not so much teaching creativity; it’s more a matter of reclaiming it.”
“But I’m not creative,” she insisted.
“You don’t remember what it feels like to be creative, but it’s there.”
“Why don’t I feel creative?” Debra asked.
She’s got a great point. At age 4, when monsters are under the bed, and children have problems separating truth from imagination, a strange socialization begins. We are told to “act like a big girl” (or boy), we are told to use things for what they were made for. We are told they are no monsters, no fairies. Once the tooth fairy has delivered the cash, we make her disappear.
Creativity is frowned on. We are sent to school, where big classes make individuality a burden for the teacher. We are encouraged to be like the others, to work in teams, to have limited dreams and choose an acceptable career. And a career in the Arts is not an acceptable career to be considered successful, according to most parents and teachers.
When my son said he wanted to be a musician, I heard a chorus of “Tell him that’s fine for a hobby, but as a career. . .” followed by clicking tongues. Not only was he wrong, his mother was odd, too. I let him study music.
I’d heard it all before. From my parents. In the years when parents told their children what to do, both parents nixed the idea that I become a writer and refused to let me study art. This was particularly odd as I had earned a full scholarship to college and wasn’t “wasting their money.” But I digress.
In most children, the creativity stays no matter how hard it gets steered off course. It gets buried under years of training. But it keeps peeking out.
How did it get buried for you? Maybe you are a great party planner; maybe you can calm people who are angry. You may have a skill of seeing several answers to a problem. Those are all examples of creativity. Creativity is not being eccentric, weird or difficult. Creative people use their skills in different ways to make the world a little better, one person at a time. Explore your creativity–you’ll be amazed and delighted at what you find.
–To read more about creativity coaching, visit Quinn McDonald’s website, QuinnCreative.com