That was a criticism leveled at me by my Kindergarten teacher. I "failed" Kindergarten. Forced to repeat it a year later.
|Shirtless author-to-be on right.|
Earliest manifestations of creativity can be seen in children with wild imaginations. While most kids draw reflections of what they see, the creative child will draw images found only in abstractions of their own minds. They reach conclusions built on foundations of their own making.
Creativity often gets crushed in early years under the heavy palm of conformity, especially during the academic regimentation of elementary schooling. Parents who recognize (and value) the gift of creativity will teach the child to conform on the surface while nurturing the wild speculation raging inside the creative mind.
In adulthood, the anomaly of creativity portends out-of-the-box thinking. Einstein did not see Newtonian laws of physics in his mind. Of necessity, he learned the mundane, but privately, his intellect ripped them to shreds as he solved intricate questions unanswered by status quo thinking. Hemingway rejected eloquent prose of his day in favor of working man language, yet his genius was in crafting elegance from simplicity. Steven Jobs built a computer empire from a simple idea started in his garage. Such are the results of creative minds.
Writers seem to fall into two groups. A lucky few possess extraordinary creativity and have found release for pent up visions in their stories. Others, like me, have tasted the sweetness of latent creativity and struggle to turn the key in the cage door, hoping to release the monster.
What about everybody else? You might wonder, “Am I one of the creative few, or am I destined to a life of structure and perpetually satisfied curiosity?"
|Rise great steed. Off to the frog prince's castle.|
If you wish you were as creative as your favorite author, or as talented as your favorite artist, then all you have to do is remove inhibitions that life installed. Let the beast explode from your inner mind. Seek change. Embrace risk. When life presents a fork in your journey, choose the path that provides no preconceived expectation. Pick the one made more mysterious with its simultaneous potential for discovery and ominous uncertainty.
In writing, creativity demands we release our passion, without limit, and give the world stories that are uniquely us, not clones of others. Most importantly, we must write for ourselves. So, let your creative monster run wild and enjoy the surprises from within.