How Do I Know if I’m a Creative Person?
Okay, good question. The simple answer is: yeah. YOU ARE. If you’ve ever told a story around a campfire, dreamed a different ending to a movie, pretended to yourself that you were part of a video game, or even told a lie to get out of jury duty or leave work early, you are creative.
Creative doesn’t mean brilliant, engaging, or devilishly clever. It just means that you can create. I’ve heard folks say that they have “no imagination”, but all they have is an imagination that hasn’t been or is rarely exercised. Or maybe they do exercise it but don’t believe the results of that exercise are worth putting words, or music, or sculpture. That isn’t a lack of creativity: it’s a lack of confidence, or lack of clarity.
Here at Seeking the New Earth we focus on creativity in the medium of language, and ways to encourage your growth in that medium. One of the best exercises I’ve found for me is flexing my flash fiction muscle. It’s short, usually taking an hour or less total, and it’s fun! It encompasses all the necessary aspects of writing on any level: setting and exposition, conflict, resolution, and maybe a twist or two! Its design compels you to eschew wordiness (one of my favorite exercises) and to “show, don’t tell.” And finally, for only a few minutes’ effort you’ve created a complete work. Try out a few! (Send them to us, we love reading them!) To read more, just search the tag flash fiction.
The folks here not only share a passion for creation, but for the Creator as well. As Christians we believe that our ancient grandparents were formed in the image of God their Creator. Although they lost that image by opening a gate to sin into the world, the echoes of creation still sing from us in our desire to dream, do right, create, mold, and master. For the lowly fallen, thank God the shadows of his Image are so persistent!
I mentioned lying up there, and you might have been a bit surprised to equate creativity with lying. But yes, it’s a creative act. You’re manufacturing a history that only exists in your brain, and you’re giving it “life” through the telling. But my point isn’t to excuse deception! We often stumble in pursuit of noble ideals: adultery for love, murder for justice, idolatry for worship. Our failure to meet the ideal of love, justice, worship and creation don’t in any way sully the ideals themselves. To quote author/journalist Albert Camus: “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.”
So remember that your creation, however critical you might be of it, is an echo of your Father. It’s the way you’re made. You ARE creative. It’s how God made you. It’s his indelible mark. Now go write!