“Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled, to concentrate, to accept conflict and tension, to be born every day, to feel a sense of self.” — Erich Fromm
People have seen or heard what you’ve created. Has one of these people asked you to create a particular work for their relative? Has a fellow group member proclaimed you’re the creative one in the group and can produce on the spot what’s needed? Are you a failure because your creativity deserts you in these on-demand situations?
No. And here’s why.
God wires creative people in various ways.
- Some creative people are stimulated by suggested needs; others are moved by a need that strikes them as they observe others.
I know some people who are the former. I marvel at the poems of those asked to write for friends’ wedding showers or stories for their nephews’ talent-show skits. They can empathize so easily.
I’m the latter. Sometimes I’m asked to write something for a friend’s need. If I agree, my motivation is low, and I call on discipline. But if I observe a need that touches or bothers me, all kinds of ideas bombard my imagination. I volunteer!
Some are energized by the active people surrounding them; others need to be alone in silence.
I read numerous messages on an American Christian Fiction Writers e-mail loop answering the question: In what kind of environment do you write best? The responses fell mostly in these four categories:
- A humming coffee shop.
- Alone in my office with music going.
- Alone in my office in silence.
- Anywhere my laptop is.
I’m the third. Outside my office, I observe and visualize. The world stimulates my ideas. But when it comes time to write, I tote my observations, visualizations, and ideas into the world of my imagination. I have no need or desire for additional stimulation. I dislike being jarred out of my imagination by distractions. My quiet office works for me.
- Some think creatively as they express out loud; others find their creative juices bubble as they mull and imagine.
I’ve observed people in workshops who can come up with a creative story example in a few minutes during an exercise.
I think best by expressing aloud ideas to solve problems. But when I sit down to pull raw ideas together into a story or document, I slow down and simmer those raw ideas into a creative stew.
So, never judge yourself or others as inferior in how we go about being creative. The final product is what usually matters. Even the final product will be viewed differently by various audiences.
How are you wired? What works best for you?
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