You either have it or you don’t actually understand what it is

I’m always blown away when people say “Oh, I’m not creative.” To me, that’s like saying “I’m not kind,” or “I’m not hygienic.”

Being creative isn’t a gift, it’s a choice. Too often, people override natural creativity by striving for perfection — and perfection is the imagination’s natural enemy (second only to extreme republicanism.)

The biggest hurdle to a truly creative twist is the need for a thing to turn out exactly as you originally envisioned it. After all, creative breakthroughs often come from leaning into serendipity. Follow mistakes where they lead you. Work and rework something. Travel two different paths simultaneously. Your ideas might merge someplace unexpectedly.

I know several people who explain away their most creative works. “It wasn’t creativity, I just thought I saw this design on the wall as I was peeling toilet paper off of my shoe. When I looked up, it was something totally different, but the idea stuck with me.” Newsflash Karen, your mind had a creative moment and you just tried to give the credit to a bathroom stall.

Where do people think that creative ideas come from? Do geniuses with highly evolved artistic centers divine these innovations into existence in a way that no mere human could ever hope to approach? No. Creative people fuck up, then they roll with it. When they can’t roll with it, they remember the lesson the next time and try things again in a different situation, giving birth to an even more incongruent mix of creative energy. This is not magic, it’s a willingness to relinquish control and blend ideas that didn’t originate together.

Another misconception about creativity is that something can’t be innovative if it’s genesis is easily explainable. That’s just not true, think of the cronut!

Keep in mind that no one else walks exactly in your shoes. The conception of an idea might seem evident to you, but that secret recipe is locked behind your own thoughts and experiences. Anyone outside of your brain can’t see the “obvious” connections that led to the ingenuity. That’s your own unique form of creativity. Embrace it, don’t dismiss it.

That’s creativity. We’ll save kindness and hygiene for another day.