Today we’re featuring a guest post from accomplished novelist, ghostwriter, and writing coach Charlotte Rains Dixon:
Creativity is getting lots of attention lately. There was a cover story from Newsweek last July warning that scores on a test designed to measure creativity much like IQ had declined since 1990, rather precipitously. And the current issue of O magazine features creativity and imagination as its entire theme. One of the magazine’s articles cites studies proving that creative people cope better with stress and crises, and also that we tend to have higher senses of well being and better personal relationships.
Creativity is the new hot topic because researchers are discovering it is good for us. In a word, creativity is important. But you probably already knew that, or you wouldn’t have found your way to this wonderful blog of Patrick’s. Since you have made it here, odds are good that you enjoy some kind of creative practice, be it writing, painting, singing, dancing or whatever. And because of that, I submit that you and I, those of us who create regularly, have a responsibility.
We have a responsibility to show others how engaging in creativity is done on a regular basis: what that looks like and how it affects every aspect of our lives. It’s important because if our society as a whole is indeed losing touch with its creativity, then who better to showcase its benefits than practicing creatives? But more than that, we have a responsibility to ourselves and to our own creative spark.
I’ve thought a lot about being responsible to my own creativity lately. In my New Year’s Eve blog post I wrote about taking 100% complete and total responsibility for myself and my creative goals. And since then, my thoughts have morphed to pondering what a responsibility to creativity looks like. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far (and I suspect this is one of those quests that will only take me deeper and deeper as I go along).
As a creative person, I have a responsibility to:
- Make time for my creativity
- Attend to it fully when I have made time for it
- Hone my skills so that my creative projects are the best they can possibly be
- Remember and practice the creative process, allowing everything inside me to come out and then shaping that raw treasure into a final product
- Not judge or compare myself as I create
Let me add one caveat. When I say creative person, I really mean everyone. Because I believe that every single last one of us has a creative spark inside that is longing to come out. Maybe it will take the form of flower arranging, or cooking, or raising a child well. Don’t sell yourself short, because we also have a responsibility to recognize and nurture all the many non-traditional ways we create, each and every day.
So tell me. How do you take responsibility for your creativity?
Charlotte Rains Dixon is a novelist, ghostwriter, and writing coach, living in Portland, Oregon, with frequent trips to LA and Nashville. You can read her blog and follow her on Twitter @Wordstrumpet.
(The photo above is by the photographer Hallowed and is available for use with attribution from www.everystockphoto.com.)