AHA · Authors Helping Authors · Marketing · Writing Tips

“Creativity” ~ by Corey Smith

trike_coreysmithCreativity is a learned skill. It is something that requires practice. If you would like to be creative you cannot expect that you will naturally be so. Although, children tend to exhibit it a bit more naturally because they are willing to fail a little more than us adults.

I think that the most important thing to understand about creativity is that it is more than simple art. Creativity is about doing things differently than conventional thinking would dictate. If you are always doing the same things that everybody else is doing you will never truly be creative.

I think there is an assumption that in order to be creative you have to let go of all semblance of format and structure. In reality, there needs to be a framework or a structure that will allow your creativity to make sense. When I wrote my first book, I realized that once I embraced a format, my creativity was unleashed.

When we compare creativity to artistic creativity we can look at all of the greats in history to understand this concept. Looking at Da Vinci or Michel Angelo we can understand that their creativity came from their adherence to certain structures. Those structures came in the form of sculpting or painting or drawing. Before they could ever create something new they had to understand the structure and the tools available.

I believe that this comes down to focus. You need to have constraints that help you focus your efforts appropriately. The fewer the constraints you have the more difficult it is to unleash your creativity.

When you are attempting to foster creativity in teams, they will need context in order to be creative. If you ask them to try without any context they will have no form and what they create will be meaningless.

There are very few people, by comparison, that can have zero guidelines and still produce incredibly creative work.

Creativity should never be limited to the understanding of the arts but the arts can help to understand creativity. All fields of life need creativity.. business, marketing, etc.

As an author, you understand creativity for your writing. These same principles apply to the way you market your own personal brand. Don’t think that your creativity ends at the last paragraph of your book. Apply the same principles to everything you do to market yourself.

~~~~~~~~~Corey Smith is President of Tribute Media and Author of “Do It Right: A CEO’s Guide to Web Strategy”. His firm specializes in building websites for businesses, (including authors). Connect with him at About.me.

Your thoughts – how do you structure and/or focus your creativity in your work, your marketing plans, etc.?
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9 thoughts on ““Creativity” ~ by Corey Smith

  1. I am not agree with author of this article. Creativity is a talent, gift from the god, and You cant learn it ! You can develop it to the perfection or learn a new techniques how to express Your creativity, but You can not learn to be creative. It is something You born within!

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    1. I can see why you would think this. I have never met a three year old who wasn’t creative. When children are very young, they have great imaginations. They have the ability to see things in their play that others can not see.

      Each of my five children were the same way but the creativity manifested itself in different ways. In fact, this was the basis for their play. They see worlds in their mind and know how to act it out.

      As adults we learn to no longer be creative. Usually our parents say things like, “Act your age!” or teachers say, “Your paper has too much fluff” (I actually had a teacher say that to me so don’t say it can’t happen).

      I actively teach my employees how to be creative and it’s amazing what those, who think they have no creativity, can accomplish.

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    1. I don’t think it’s a fair comparison of creativity to a child in a sweet shop unable to decide. Making a decision is not the same as creativity but sometimes you have to decide when to stop coming up with new ideas.

      In fact, John Cleese’s lecture serves to validate my point of view.

      One of the key elements of his creative process (or open mode) is time and place. Those are simply two of the constraints of which I reference.

      Let’s even look at how children are creative. They have constraints… even though they are different than we might expect. They have the constraint of their experiences, the toys around them and whether or not someone is playing with them to influence their creativity.

      Even your Twitter profile says something about you and this concept. You say, “Finding ways to improve an author’s writing and creativity by using focused journaling techniques.” Journaling is a way to place constraints on your thought process. It helps you focus. It gives you an opportunity to be creative in a defined way.

      Every time a successful, creative (author, comedic, painter, filmmaker, marketer, businessman, accountant, etc) is creative, it’s because they understand the parameters in which they can be creative. They know their time frames. They know their audience. They know how flexible they can be.

      The best are those that know when it’s appropriate to stretch the limits and when it’s not.

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  2. Inguna, you are confusing latent talent with creative skills that enable that talent to flower. This is achieved through education and practicing your craft as a writer. Great writers became great because they applied their creativity with skill, and skill is something you definitely have to learn.

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  3. For me, creativity comes from the desire to place thought onto the reality plane that we have experienced or met briefly on another plane, The other plane may be called spiritual, intuitive, God-given, emotional, psychological, dream world, etc. Our job is to find the media to use to give expression to the thought. As writers we use words, as sculptors we use clay, marble, metal or even paper, as craftsman or women we use fabric, thread, leather, paper etc. Sometimes we may use a combination of many techniques. Whatever media we use, the final product must somehow “touch” the viewer or reader.

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    1. I think you have the best point yet and it applies to every word of content on every site out there! Everybody is right! We all have our own viewpoints and the point of these articles is to share the wide variety of view points on the wide variety of topics that affects us all and some will connect and agree with some pieces and not others and vice versa…isn’t the world a wonderful place filled with all types of creativity?! Have a great weekend! Deb

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