Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

You Must Engage Your Creative Side

From Jeff: This is a guest post by James Prescott. James is a writer who cares deeply about helping people discover who they were created to be. You can check out his blog and connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

Over a year ago, I was invited to a friend’s house. This friend is a creative arts teacher and was preparing one of her first big presentations. She wanted to test it on a couple of friends, and I was one of the guinea pigs.

The evening was designed to explore creativity and our artistic sides. Now, by no means am I a world-class drawer or painter — my creative gift has always involved words — but I decided to give it a go, anyway.

Creative Side

Photo credit: Martin L. (Creative Commons)

Unlocking your creative potential

The main part of the evening involved grabbing an art pencil and a sheet of paper, closing your eyes, and drawing. I allowed my mind to drift and my hand to simply feel the pencil on paper and move into shapes. As I did this, something unlocked in me. Something important. Something creative.

My mind opened up to ideas I’d never even thought of before — and not just ones involving drawing. Creativity was unleashed inside of me in a way it had never been.

This event made a profound impact on me and my work. It opened my mind to understanding something I knew but hadn’t experienced. I felt alive and free, ready to create.

We are all creative

In a world filled with stereotypes, we often find ourselves labeling people. “Sporty,” “intellectual,” “academic,” and “artistic,” are just a few that come to mind. It’s as if only certain types of people are capable of being one thing.

We do this with creative people, too. Artists, painters, singers, actors, writers, film-makers, animators — these are the ones we deem “creative.” Then, there is everyone else. But this is a lie.

We are all creative in our own right. Yes, not all of us are going to be published authors and artists, selling millions of books and records. Not all of us will go down in history for what we create. But that’s not why we create.

Look at any of the great creative minds throughout history. I’m pretty sure they didn’t create to impress others. They did it for another reason.

If we make art for the sake of attention, we shouldn’t bother creating at all.

We don’t create for others.
We don’t create to impress or be the best.
We create, because we can.

Every single human being has a creative spark. Some call it divine; others attribute it to a Muse or the human spirit. But there is a drive in all of us — a source of inspiration — to create.

Finding your spark

What if you don’t know what your gift is — what you’re supposed to create? The answer is simple: Just try something.

Get some paper and a pencil and draw. Sit down at a computer and write. Grab a camera and start shooting. Make a short film. All you have to do to get started is engage.

Give your art space to breathe, to flourish and grow. Keep experimenting until you find something you enjoy, something you love — and then keep doing it.

It doesn’t have to be world-class or a work of genius. It doesn’t even have to be “artistic” — because creativity can be found anywhere. It just has to matter to you.

What suffers when you don’t do this

What we create becomes a part of us. If you don’t engage with your creative spark, you’ll deny a part of who you are. There will be a piece of you that’s missing. Worse, you’ll hold back something incredible from the world: your art.

Maybe only two or three people will ever see what you create. Maybe only you will. But through the process you’ll discover something about yourself, something you never knew — another piece of your identity.

It’s time you engaged with your creative side. Nurture it, and let it grow. It will help you come fully alive. What are you waiting for? Get creative.

What do you do to discover your creative side? Share in the comments.

*Photo credit: Martin L. (Creative Commons)

About Jeff Goins

I am the best-selling author of five books, including the national bestsellers The Art of Work and Real Artists Don't Starve. Each week, I send out a free newsletter with my best tips on writing, publishing, and helping your creative work succeed.

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