How Do I Know if I’m a Creative Person?

Now this is what I call creativity.

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!

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18 thoughts on “How Do I Know if I’m a Creative Person?

  1. Love it! Very cool thoughts! It reminded me of a study I read about once, where they found that 98% of kindergartners are capable of “divergent thinking”, which was described as the ability to imagine concrete objects as being different than they are capable of things that they normally are not capable of. An example given was imagining that a paperclip is 200 feet tall, made of styrofoam, with a jet engine strapped to it making it useful as a spaceship.

    Point being, this study showed that at least 98% of all of us have, as children, the capacity for being exceptionally creative. In other words, we all have this in us, at least at the start! But like a muscle that isn’t used, those people who stop being creative end up with “imagination atrophy”. What to do about it? The same thing you do when any muscle atrophies – you get it working again!

    1. I do remember reading that same study, and yes like any muscle, the brain atrophies.

      I am especially guilty in writing. Not just my long absences from SNE (though I do lurk and comment on occasion) but in general. I’ll get ideas and imagine things, but I won’t put pen to paper! (or um… key to screen.) Why don’t I? I don’t know. Maybe I just think that I won’t top previous work? That I don’t have time? (I mean seriously, everyone has time for an hour a week right??)

      But regardless, I find the same excuses not to write that I do not to run. And all those excuses are bogus.

  2. Are you channeling C. S. Lewis or Madeline L’Engle? I vaguely remember reading something like this before.

    And we are indeed part of that chain… what we worship, we imitate. And since God is indeed a Creator, we are little creators.

  3. Challenge accepted

    Looking up from the pages, that feeling of a wrenching knot in his chest grew as he fought back tears. Was it true? There was only one way to find out. He put the Tome of Return into a backpack and grabbed a couple of apples, just in case. Then he took hold of the Sekai book once more and opened it to the title page. Concentrate on the words…

    And suddenly he was there.

    He vomited. The stench was overwhelming. Burned houses and bodies cut to pieces. He looked up after retching just in time to see a scrawny thief sneaking out of a crumbling home, something carried furtively under his cloak. About 100 yards off a group of men were violently kicking something on the ground–probably another person.

    It was true. It had happened here, too. As if to confirm his conclusion, he noticed on another house, scrawled in blood, “NFLM.” So then, world #58. Sekai. The “perfect world.” But the same fate as the rest… degeneration into utter depravity and chaos.

    Through pain and heartbreak, he was learning what the Ancient Scrivener had told him: “The decay always corrupts the Stories. Can you create something untainted by your own heart?”

    He removed the Tome of Return from the backpack and turned to the title page. Only one thing left to do–burn Sekai and write #59.

    1. This is awesome, Gamma — a great, short story that leaves me wanting more! Sekai is also a simple name that remains alien to my Western ears. Is it something in one of our earth-bound languages?

      1. Thanks for the encouragement!

        “Sekai” is just the Japanese word for “world” or “the universe.” Sometimes it’s used to refer to “society.”

    2. Do you remember Ur-Quan Masters (nee’ Star Control 2) where this race, I can’t remember who it was, had “Culture 12”, “Culture 13” etc. that they used to describe their warsome history? Man that was a great game. Your Sekais reminded me of that.

      1. Yeah, that was the Thraddash. They were actually a really hilarious jab at 3rd-world socialism, a sort of French Revolution ad infinitum ad nauseum where every revolution they had sort of naturally gave way to some new, better way revolution only a few years later. The Thraddash even kind of looked like cigar-smoking Fidel Castros.

    1. Thanks for the new perspective for our Western sensibilities. Send the new one to one of us Friday Morning and we’ll put it on the home page for Flash Friday! Try to keep it 110 words or less

      1. I wasn’t really doing an East vs. West thing. More a play on your comment about us being “little creators.” I just used a convenient Japanese word to name something. :^)

        I’ve fallen in love with my idea, so rather than being a flash thing I’m thinking more about doing a serial. I don’t want to intrude on your blog, though.

      2. I like the idea of doing a serial — one of the ideas I’ve had recently has become a “serial” of sorts as I explore different aspects of the world in flash-fiction-sized chunks. So far it’s working… I need to keep at it, though. If you can pull it off, go for it!

      3. Yes! Annabeth is already considering doing a serial it seems. And it will keep authors AND readers coming back every Friday!

        And by the way I did note and was moved by the concept of original sin in this. It… intrudes?… on my thoughts and imaginings of other planets, new settlements, even alien cultures… sin would abound there too. Where there is fertile soil, weeds grow.

      4. Want it now? Should we start a new “schedule?” “Serial Saturdays?”

        I’m not trying to invite myself onto your blog as an author, but the invitation seems implicit.

    1. Okay okay, way to go! Toldya they was fun! fbemail me both of them. I’ll set the Flash Friday to post next Friday! The Serial Saturday is also a great idea. I’ll get that one up on the blog post-haste as a guest post.

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