Thursday, June 4, 2015

Creativity . . . and Varieties Thereof (Thankfulness Thursday, week 2)

I've decided to focus each Thursday on something specific that I am grateful for. Today, I'm focusing on . . . 

Creativity! For much of of my life, I lamented the fact that I was not creative. I wasn't being humble or trying to invite protestations from others followed by their assurances that I was/am creative. I honestly didn't see myself as a creative person.

Creative people wrote music, sang beautifully, or played a musical instrument in such a way that others asked them to perform. I tried writing a few songs -- it wasn't pretty; I sing -- as long as the radio is louder than I am, you'd enjoy my performance; I can play the piano, but I'm mediocre at best.

Creative people produce beautiful pieces of art. Not only do I not create them, I'm not even interested in creating them. I have tons of respect and admiration for those that do, but doing so simply does not appeal to me.

Creative people string together words in ways that reach into the hearts of readers; their words evoke strong emotion, stir the reader to action, even. Creative writers produce fiction. While I've always loved to write and knew I had the technical aspects down pretty well, I've never -- no matter how hard I've tried -- been able to master the craft of fiction.

So there you have it. Not creative.

Several years ago, though, I discovered scrapbooking. At first, I poo-poohed the notion that scrapbooking was creative. After all, I wasn't doing much more than (using acid-free adhesives and paper, of course) adhering photos to card stock and then journaling about the experience reflected on the layout. I loved playing around with the elements of a page -- photos, journalling, card stock, etc -- to create layouts that reflected my style and that I felt were aesthetically pleasing.

One day I realized that what I was doing was, in fact, creative and that I was, despite many years of denial, quite creative myself. And my creativity isn't displayed only through scrapbooking.

I've often been told by those I work with and by friends that I'm a creative problem-solver, and I realize now that that's true. I'm actually quite good at analyzing a problem and coming up with interesting and, to those around me at least, unique solutions. I see this particularly in my job, but it pops up in other areas as well.

The more I write, the more I recognize germs of creativity in that area as well. Non-fiction, expository text still "comes easier" to me, and my writing has been recognized in the workplace as being strong and creative. I've even begun branching out a bit and am planning a novel. It will be interesting to see how that pans out.

As I wrote those last four paragraphs, I winced, squirmed, deleted, put back in, and 2nd-guessed my decision to share this publicly. I was raised to be humble, to never "toot my own horn", if you will. Nobody likes a braggart, right?

But I don't just recognize that I am creative; I also know exactly where that creativity comes from. It's a gift from God. I'm not bragging -- not at all. I'm acknowledging His gift and expressing my gratitude.

I'm also thankful for those who are creative in ways I am not. The musicians, the artists. Those who are mathematical whizzes and electronic geniuses. The individuals who are creative with chemicals and medications, and the list goes on and on.

There are many forms of creativity, and I'm thankful for each and every one of them.

 

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