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Me (a little frustrated): That doesn’t mean anything. I feel similarly when my youngest brother, who’s looking to become a coastal engineer with a focus on maintaining and improving coastlines, says he isn’t creative. While I remained convinced that she was creative, she wasn’t, and I didn’t know how to change her mind.Difficulties and setbacks never quell their curiosity.
Whatever inspiration is, it’s borne from a continuous ‘I don’t know.’ …This is why I value that little phrase ‘I don’t know” so highly. It expands our lives to include the spaces within us as well as those outer expanses in which our tiny Earth hangs suspended. It’s to craft the question and to find answers not only to that question but also to questions raised by those very answers.
If Isaac Newton had never said to himself, ‘I don’t know,’ the apples in his little orchard might have dropped to the ground like hailstones and at best he would have stooped to pick them up and gobble them gusto. It’s to embrace the world of “I don’t know.” It is not to be an artist or a writer or a musician although those things can be “creative.” It’s more complex than that.
He sounds like me when I start to riff on literature or art or whatever else interests me. “Creative,” to me, is a way of approaching the world. It most certainly isn’t associated with the arts alone.
“Creative” is about saying “I don’t know” and finding or being found by the answers once that space is opened.
To put the answer in a different way, I turn to Wislawa Szymborska.
While she uses the word “inspiration,” “creativity” or “creative” could be substituted easily: [I]nspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists generally.Creativity is everywhere and in everything, but it’s only found in and by the people willing to, as Samuel Taylor Coleridge would say, “suspend disbelief” in order to consider answers no matter how sane or zany they seem to be. These examples are from the Cambridge English Corpus and from sources on the web.Due to the looseness of the definition, it is possible for writing such as feature stories to be considered creative writing, even though they fall under journalism, because the content of features is specifically focused on narrative and character development.Both fictional and non-fictional works fall into this category, including such forms as novels, biographies, short stories, and poems.It may include doctors, teachers, gardeners – I could list a hundred more professions.Their work becomes one continuous adventure as long as they manage to keep discovering new challenges in it.There is, has been, will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits.It’s made up of all those who’ve consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination.It’s about developing a different perspective and identifying different problems rather than being content with devising solutions to already-proposed problems. It needs to be challenged, or it quickly tires or withers.Those problems may still need solutions, but sometimes the problems themselves need to be rethought. It is at its most active when considering how a thing works and how to tweak that thing, and it doesn’t matter if the thing being explored is a rhyme scheme, the latest scientific discovery, or a new business model. To find real solutions related to any of those things, creativity is required.