Creativity is a strange thing. Those who have it often don’t recognize it. Those who don’t have it in a particular area…well, they often think they're simply exceptional.
It’s not as simple as “Either you got it to you don’t, kid”, which is great news for all of us. I think we’re all creative, in our own way. Many of our body’s cells are replaced every 90 days. Our DNA is a self-correcting, self-assembling, self-replicating digital code. We are designed to create offspring. So anyone who thinks they just didn't get the 'creative gene' is plain wrong.
It’s far too easy to focus on one individual’s creative output, and minimize another’s. Standards for ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are often self-imposed by arbitrary, self-created, self-governing industry bodies. And 'group think' sets in, where we follow the critics, public opinion builds to a critical mass, and a star is born – or there's no hope of redemption.
I’ve been a musician, singer and songwriter for years, but I’ve always resisted the label 'musician', as I’ve never felt good enough. I’m sure a lot of creative people feel the same. But I’m able to write songs and put them to music quite effortlessly – it sort of just flows, and I’ve no idea where the lyrics, melodies and hooks come from.
I’ve watched painters create masterpieces and then trash them because they don’t see the value. And there are a million writers, photographers, economists and philosophers out there who deserve to be published, but couldn’t get a publishing deal. Thankfully, they no longer need one.
At the end of the day, we don’t need permission to be creative. We just are. Accept your brilliance, however narrow the niche you occupy. I say, do it for yourself, not for recognition from some random organization. They change their minds all the time anyway. If we own it, do it, put it out there, share it – without fear of criticism, or shame of inadequacy – we’ll all be the better for our own – and each other’s – unique creativity.
Principal Consultant & Business Coach