Creativity Isn't a Birthright

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

For a long time during my adult life I rarely read fiction. I thought it to be a waste of time: real life is so fascinating on its own, why would I need to read anything made up?

Several years ago, for reasons I have since forgotten, I picked up a novel and read it cover to cover. What I found was that well-written fiction inspires creativity in me in a way that nothing else does. If I read fiction right before going to bed, I'll usually be up all night with ideas. When I finally do fall asleep, my dreams are more vivid, the characters more complex, the conversations more intellectual. I find that this creativity also spills over into business and other parts of life.

Fiction may not get your creative juices flowing like it does mine. It's possible though that you may be overlooking something in your life that might. If you're stuck in a creative rut, try something that you usually don't do. If you typically read books, try watching a movie instead. Spend a morning at a museum. Find a lake or river nearby and rent a kayak. Go to the zoo (I personally hate zoos, but to each their own). Take in a baseball or football game. If you live in the city, spend some time in a more rural setting or vice versa.

Creativity isn't a birthright; it's something that is developed. You can sit around waiting for inspiration to strike or you can take an active role in finding ways to consistently stoke your creative fire.

Originally published November 2010

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