Monday, November 2, 2015

Day 24: Rethinking the Rules That Define Creativity

creativity doesn't reside in one side of the brain

My grandmother is an artist. She spoke in oils and intricately drawn and festooned handmade birthday cards. My sister sews, she makes her girls holiday dresses and tailors my daughter’s clothes for her.

I paint by number, poorly.

Consequently, I’ve never considered myself very creative.

But I was listening to an On Being podcast recently that discussed creativity and I was confronted by how narrowly I’ve defined creativity, to my own detriment.

Creativity isn’t just being crafty. It isn’t only possessed by those who work in certain mediums, like charcoals, Canons, and clay.

I’d always believed that I was a left-brain person, more bent toward logic than lithographs. A “good student, very focused and disciplined” are labels I’ve carried with me since childhood.

But it turns out the right brain people are imaginative and left brain people are logical is folk psychology. We all need our whole brain, working in tandem at all times. Certain activities do require more input from either or left or right brain hemispheres, but creativity doesn’t reside in one side of the brain.

Humor is a form of creativity. Liars are far less admirable creatives, but they are their own breed nonetheless. They may have a fundamentally flawed moral code, but anyone who lies well – think a Catch Me If You Can type - can have an eerily brilliant imagination, just ask anyone in criminal justice. 

I’ve always been something of a wordsmith. Professionally that has most often meant the spoken word, personally it has meant the written word. Until now, I’ve never really considered that as being creative. It was either what I did for work or fun.

I’m rethinking that today and dubbing myself creative.

Go forth and dub thyself too!

(To learn more about the debunking of the right brain/left brain, go here.)

1 comment:

  1. I would say that you're quite creative -- writing, photography, imaginative and thoughtful gifts, etc. It ain't all watercolors and Pinterest crafts!

    -- KB