Creativity is a fickle playmate that likes to play hide and seek with the best of us. I, like many artists, have discovered this first hand. In fact, many writers blame creativity, or the lack of it, for periods of forced writing and/or not writing at all, claiming the muse has just up and walked off without another thought. I've claimed this many times myself. So it leaves the struggling artist with the age old question... can creativity be harnessed?And in an extension to that, can creativity lead to truly original ideas?
The truth is that we live in a world that's not conducive to becoming or maintaining creative individuals, or should I say it's our learned habits that quell the creative genius inside us all. There are too many distractions like the television watched around the clock, the rush-around-like-a-chicken-with-its-head-cutt-off lifestyle, and other lifestyle choices that require no real thought whatsoever. It's the things like reading, taking long walks, and slowing down to notice the world around that help spark the creative juices.
Okay, so maybe the juices are flowing just fine and the muse hasn't abandoned the artist completely to a dark abyss of emptiness. Can an original idea really be found? Can creativity spark that one true idea that sets the world on it end, or perhaps on fire? Well, no, not really, because there really isn't a real unique idea. There are, however, ideas that can be recycled, or built upon to make them better, or at least different enough to be construed as original.
It's tough living in a world where people think it's all been done before. There are so many ideas floating around it makes a person wonder if something new can be found. I think newness can be found, or a freshness brought to an old idea that gives the original idea new life. Take the fairy-tales of old. It seems the tales of the Brothers Grimm are getting new mileage with television shows like Once Upon a Time and Grimm, or movies like Red Riding Hood and Mirror Mirror. An old idea, but with a new exciting twist, no originality required.
I have found that creativity comes when least expected and it grows the most when it is fed. It's about being open to new ideas, and letting all ideas pour over you like water. Be still and listen. Stop that rushing about and really listen. What is your muse telling you? What did that line in the book you just read for the third time spark inside you? Did you write it down, or let the hint of idea float away in the wind? When the moment it right- and it will be right if you feed your creativity on a regular basis- be ready to listen. Be ready to act and be ready to be original- well as original as any creative person can be.
Are you listening? What does your muse tell you? How does your muse speak to you? And what are some things you do to help the spark of creativity turn into a burning fire of beautiful ideas? Feel free to share with other aspiring artists in the comment section below.