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Chris Dunmire : What is Creativity to YOU?

What is Creativity to YOU?

Embracing your own definition

By Chris Dunmire

Innovation, ingenuity, inventiveness, incubation, imagination, mind-mapping, knowledge building, problem solving...

When you ask the question, "What is creativity?" you'll find plenty of resources online devoted to answering the question. I submitted it to one search engine and had zillions of results (okay, maybe not that many) delivered back to me. The more relevant results included creativity Web sites, books, software, business seminars, courses, coaches, and consultants — many claiming authority on the subject and selling products or services to enhance the potency of your creative power.

Basics: Creativity is the ability to create.

Do you need to read books and look to creativity experts to find a definitive answer to what creativity is? Or is accepting the basic definition, creativity is the ability to create, enough to begin the act of creating? It might depend on your purpose. For example, if you're coordinating a corporate team building conference or training managers to lead problem-solving workshops then expert counsel and compiling tried-and-true techniques may be necessary. But if you're casually looking to paint your emotions onto canvas, sculpt clay into colorful creations, or blog your creative journey, then I think you'll find your answer... in yourself. In fact, embracing your own definition of creativity — of what part if plays in your life and why it's important to you — is more key than any definition you can read about it. Why? Because on an individual level, creativity is a very personal thing.

This is not to say that mentoring or coaching isn't useful or needed in some ways if you have fears or blocks related to expressing your creativity. In fact, reading articles by creativity coaches or working one-on-one with a creativity coach can help support you, illuminate your path, and give you insight into the nature of your own creative process. Exposure to a wide variety of sources can enhance your creative pool and deepen your understanding about yourself and your creative life. These things are complementary to your ability to create.

Personal Creativity

When Creativity Portal encourages visitors to explore and express their creativity through drawing, painting, collage, and writing, what are we trying to accomplish? Well, we are hoping that they will embrace their own definition of creativity, and use it as a vehicle to learn, grow, and share who they are with others. Creativity can be healing and therapeutic. It can be joyful and life-sustaining. It can give meaning and purpose to one's life.

In closing, I want you to think about your own definition of creativity. Understanding what motivates you to be creative and what you can accomplish with it may inspire you in new ways.

Consider the Following:

  • Why am I creative?
  • Is there more than one way to be creative?
  • Do I enjoy being creative?
  • What kind of creative things can I do?
  • Do I learn and grow when I'm creative?
  • Do I find joy in being creative?
  • How can I use my creativity to help others?
  • How can I use my creativity to help myself?

© Chris Dunmire 2003, 2009. All rights reserved.

About Chris Dunmire

Chris is a deeply engaged creative spirit, lover of wit, words, and wisdom, and the driving force behind the award-winning Creativity Portal® Web site. [...]

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