Creativity's Workshop

Taming and Training Your Creativity to Write Abundantly


Introducing the Library

Apologies to my avid readers. All three of you. I’ve spent the past week either showing my cousin around the city or editing writing excerpts for an important application. Well, my application is in and my cousin has left so, hopefully, I’m now free to get back into blogging routine.

Shelves and shelves of booksAs a reward for your patience, I’d like to introduce a new category to this blog: The Library.

Basically this category will contain references to books, movies and music which I have found either stimulate Creativity, or help us to learn more about the creative process.

Our first candidate for The Library is a little unexpected. I know I didn’t expect it to be the first.

It is: The Complete Far Side.

My brother and I bought a copy of these whopper volumes for my parents’ wedding anniversary, and all four of us have been addicted to them ever since.  But then I’m always addicted to a Far Side book from the very first panel.

These volumes are even better than your everyday Far Side book, mainly because of the short essays by Gary Larson. He writes on a number of topics: his childhood, the quirks of  a comedian’s life, the unwritten rules of bedtime monsters, and the strong influence of Tarzan comics on his work.

The introduction by Jake Morrissey (Larson’s editor) provides insights into working with an extremely creative person. He mentions how he was struck by Larson’s willingness to be guided by his creativity. Flicking through these volumes you can see what he means.

If you can get your hands on these books, it’s well worth it. Touring the works and mind of a comedic and creative master provides insights, inspiration, and that wonderful realisation that he’s just a normal guy who wasn’t afraid to listen to his creativity, even when the ideas were strangely ridiculous. Isn’t that why we love his work so much?

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art.



The Need for Creativity

An idea light globe masquerading as a hot air balloonWe use creativity every day. We use it when we run out of sugar, and decide to try honey in our tea. We use it when the freeway is blocked and we try an alternate route to work. We use it when we realise the stapler is as good a paperweight as the Italian snow globe the mother-in-law gave us, which we’ve just broken. Creativity also comes in to play as we try to figure out how we’re going to explain it to her.

Even those of us who consider ourselves less than creative – drink our tea without sugar, dutifully sit in traffic, and never use expensive gifts as paperweights – still use our creativity to get through life.

But many of us believe: There are creative people, and then there’s me. I’m just not creative.

I’ll let you in on a secret. All of us have creativity inside us. It’s how we protect and nurture it that makes the difference between those who are often described as ‘creative’ and those who drink unsugared tea.

“So?” says you. “I’ve managed just fine up until now. Why does it matter?”

Taking a creative approach to work, school, learning and life in general will not only help you stand out from the crowd, but enjoy things so much more.

For example:

  • At work, what distinguishes you from the new computer software that can do your job in half the time?
  • At school, what is the difference between your essay and the 30 other essays on the teacher’s desk?
  • At home, why does the discovery of long lost fabric fill you with excitement?

The answer to all of these questions should be: Your creative approach.

Developing your creative ability allows you to see possibilities in all sorts of situations. It shows your boss you’re a valuable member of the team. It provides a refreshing change to the teacher who reads your essay. It motivates you to make new curtains, a new dress, a new apron, a coat for the dog, a rag doll for your daughter…the list goes on.

“Okay,” you say. “But how does one become more creative?”

I’m glad you asked! At least I hope you asked. My mindreading skills are not exactly legendary. I work mainly on mind-assuming skills.

There are many books, magazines, blogs etc. which deal with creativity and how to develop it. All of them have merit. However, I’d like to introduce you to a different way of looking at creativity. Most methods of developing creativity involve steps, flow charts, circular diagrams, intensive exercises etc. All those have their place. But this blog has a different purpose. I’d like to show you how to get to know her.

Yes, I do know I used the word ‘her.’ Your Creativity may be a boy, but mine is most definitely a girl. A talkative, excitable girl with ridiculous…I mean interesting dress sense and a fascinating workshop.

Ah, now the title all makes sense. Yes, I would like to invite you into my Creativity’s workshop (that is the workshop belonging to Creativity) and demonstrate how you can become friends with your inner Creativity.

Now before you scream, “weird!” and leave as quickly as possible, please give the idea a moment to settle in your mind. After all, most of us are used to that little disembodied voice in our head known as our conscience, and we’re often very comfortable to think of it almost as a separate entity. Well why not try the idea of viewing your Creativity as friend inside your head – a friendship which could lead to many enjoyable and hysterical adventures.

This blog will show how this relationship works (and sometimes doesn’t work) from a ‘normal’ person’s point of view (me) and from Creativity’s point of view. I mentioned she’s talkative. You’ll see for yourself very soon.

I realise this approach is unconventional, but that’s Creativity in general. If you embrace the weird and wacky, life becomes far more interesting…

And on that note, I have nothing else to say except welcome to my blog and please leave a comment.