Ahhhhhh, creativity. I am sure that you recognize the term. There are other terms that are often associated with the word like “artist”, “artisan”, “creator”, “creative mind”, “talent”, “gifted”, etc. Some people are more comfortable with calling themselves those terms, but at our core, we are all creatives. We are all artists. Maybe that makes you feel uncomfortable? But it is still true.

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote this beautiful book called “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear”, and it really just changed my whole perspective on what creativity means and how to harness it. For me, I never wanted to claim that I was an artist because I was (I hate to say this but I will) embarrassed by some of the things I have made, never thinking I was "enough" or "good enough". But I can't remember a time where I wasn't creative. I don’t do it for any other reason but that I really enjoy it. It lights me up. It also helped that I came from two parents who were extremely creative, my mama is a badass crafter/designer/seamstress/DIY gal, and my father loved to build things/paint/problem solve/invent/storyteller/use his hands.

The term creativity is defined as “a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scientific theory, a musical composition, or a joke) or a physical object (such as an invention, a printed literary work, or a painting)". You can be creative in so many different ways. I think most of us, me speaking from experience, just think of creatives or “artists” as people who create art, like painters, sculptors, photographers, dancers, musicians, videographers, etc. But really, anything can be considered art. ANYTHING.

One of the reasons I wanted to write about this was because I realized I have been struggling recently with being creative. I have a lot of hobbies (cooking, baking, photography, linocut, collaging, painting, drawing, guitar, singing, keyboard, plants, decorating, etc), and COVID 19 has given me a lot of time to do what I want, but I have been feeling a lot of resistance in the creative area (or what I thought was my creative area). I have a feeling it has something to do with the judgment I have of what I make: it's not good enough (for who?), it’s not original enough (who cares?), I don’t have anything to say that is important, etc. So I just haven’t been giving that area of my life the attention I believe it deserves.

I often think that the older we get, the harder it is to be creative. Maybe in our minds we are, but we don’t know how to express it, if you know what I mean. I, sadly, believe that the school system is one of the reasons this occurs. We are taught certain ways to do things, and realize that the value of being creative isn’t as high as the value of being book smart. The older we get, the more and more it seems to disappear. But, my question is, what happens if we ignore this innate trait we have for too long? Does it show up in our lives as symptoms?

That is the second reason I wanted to write about this. I realized that the times in my life where I feel stuck/isolated/confused/lost/like I am going to burst, are the times where I was ignoring my creative side. Maybe you have felt similarly.

Maybe you are already creative! LOVE IT. I am so glad that you have committed to that side of yourself, that making whatever you make probably feels really good/satisfying, and maybe you can or have gotten others involved in your creative endeavors. KEEP IT UP!

Or, maybe you don’t see the value in being creative. Or maybe you have, like me, been feeling stuck, and aren’t quite sure how to get back into the groove, whatever that looks like for you.

I thought it might be nice to go over the benefits of being creative, as a way of, well, explaining the benefits, but also maybe to spark that creative fire in you again, if you need it! I also thought I would go over some tips that have personally helped me to reignite that creative fire.

Benefits of being creative:

  • Allows you to express yourself (which is super important)

  • Helps relieve stress levels + anxiety

  • Allows you to take your mind off of other things

  • Promotes problem solving and honing those skills (this can benefit you in so many situations!)

  • Helps lift your spirit/motivate you!

  • Gets your mind moving which can lead to more productivity

  • Boosts your confidence

  • Keeping your brain moving leads to a longer life

  • Being creative in one area can often lead to being more creative in other areas! HOORAY!