How do you define creative?

Copy. Paste. Press enter and done.  NOT. 

Real authentic writing? A little less copy, paste, a little more personality.

Having recently been directed to a multitude of websites that somehow managed to appear virtually identical, it seems the copy, paste epidemic is catching on.  AHHCHOO! like a cold, doesn’t really do any harm, however, it could build up the immune system- making one less susceptible next time.  Analogy? yes, and one of the reasons this reader finds it more and more difficult to find great examples of strong writing on line.  Editorials used to provide expert samples for classroom discussion; a troll through Linked- in, in search of modern versions produced the opposite- though I too am guilty of the bandwagon response/ on days when reading though emails, tweets, and posted repeats.  One site suggested there might be a difference between solving problems and putting pieces of a puzzle together-  (course that author most likely hadn’t heard of the brain enhancing benefits of solving puzzles – Luminosity anyone, and when picking a team I do want people who are able to put pieces together and not leave a giant mess). Problem solving has become the latest buzzword – ironic- while math equations increasingly become word based, written activities and work based actions are reduced to mathematical formulas.  All while people exhort the teaching of “creativity”- did you know, to be creative is “now” a learned skill?- many hours are now being spent “teaching” creativity.  Perhaps what it really is, is neither an inborn characteristic, nor an activity that can be simplified into formulaic constructs: x number of hours of practice and Voila!

Here is a thought; “creativity” requires interaction, not merely problem solving but a specific form of problem solving, and the interaction may be suggested in a myriad of ways- sometimes with the materials at hand, sometimes from a random object, or an overheard comment, sometimes from the often touted but equally dismissed move to a different activity, one that allows for new connections to enter the situation.  Having studied both Art history and Ritual practice at one point it became clear that different societies value “creative” differently.  In the race to invent the next best selling – widget?- nearly everyone is offering a “follow us to fortune” guide while stating the said guide will teach either independence or creative problem solving- either way, someone will profit.

Back to basics; to solve a problem one needs a clear understanding of what the problem is. Problem solving and creativity are a process that includes collating, collecting dots and rearranging them, sometimes like puzzle pieces, and when the rearranging produces something “new” it gets labelled “creative” – that is the up side; the other side is – when the rearranging produces something that surprises expectations, it may be dismissed.  We can marvel today at what were once considered bad works of art and which now sell at museum prices, and also laugh at what were the mysterious cures that a hard science like medicine once proclaimed as the “truth”, but in the end, creativity happens when and where it is encouraged – inside a person – insistent, like the amazing dandelion that pushes through cement, simply because it has to. 

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One response to “How do you define creative?

  1. This post is open to comments – thank you from Alison (Ali)

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