Today I want to talk about how you can take your creative work to the next level by adding a secret ingredient.
But first I want to brake down creativity and the creative process a bit, because I often see and hear creativity being used in many different situations. Just so we’re on the same page here.
Creativity: the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.
And the creative process is just a process for unfolding your creativity.
The creative process & creativity
When we learn new things, skills, techniques, processes, we usually follow some kind of step by step method and then we practise it. This is true for learning a language, learning craft, techniques, cooking, writing, etc even the creative process.
First you learn the basics.
In writing for example: you start learning the letters, then you learn how to put the letters together to form words, then sentences and grammar, then you practise and perfect the skill. In cooking you follow a recipe and so on.
The creative process has steps, just like any other process or recipe, and those you can learn. The creative process is a skill you can become really good at. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you are being creative when you do it. I know this is a grey area, but just hang in there.
Just because you know how to write words and sentences doesn’t mean you consider yourself a creative writer, does it?
I think we’re sometimes quick to assume that because someone knows a creative process or technique, that they are also creative.
In writing, you can practise you grammar, you build the perfect sentence, but creative writing happens when you start breaking the rules, doing things in new and original ways.
You transcend traditional ideas. You start playing with the words, use them, the punctuation, tempo, repetition, to paint pictures with, create a specific atmosphere. It’s the same with cooking, design and craft.
It’s not creative to do what everybody else does. It’s creative when you dare do it differently – dare break the rules, think outside the box and do it your own way!
Being creative has a lot of you in it. And this is your secret ingredient.
You are the secret ingredient that will boost your creative work. Click here to tweet this.
You can be creative within the boundaries someone else sets for you, and not apply you at all.
But the real magic happens when you’re being creative in a process, and you use your own unique strengths, style, skills, your history and references to dare step outside of what’s already been made, designed or done and create something else.
The reason your secret ingredient is you is, that there’s only one of you, and only you know how to do you. You can’t be taught by someone else to be yourself, and you can’t be yourself wrong. But you can learn how to apply your authentic self to your creative process. That’s a skill you can only perfect by practising. Which leaves you back at the top of this page.
By the way, I don’t consider myself a creative writer or photographer, but I enjoy doing both immensely. I’m creative when I bake and cook (I hardly ever use recipes, and if I do they are just for inspiration and I always change them) and I’m creative when I design and make silverware. And I’m only creative in those fields, because I know the basic skills, the process, I’ve practised it and perfected it to the point where I can now think outside the box and dare break the rules. I might get to that stage with writing and photography, but I’m not there yet. And while I ‘wait’ to get there, I practise, I test and I try, and perfect my skills and then I apply more and more of me in it.
When are you being most creative? Let me know in the comments.