how to be creative

How to be creative, even when you’re not

“I’m not creative” was a lie I told myself.

Compared to friends who posted amazing art on Instagram, or made structures for Burning Man…I didn’t feel creative.

So I declared to myself…

“I’m just not a creative person.”

If you’ve uttered these words to yourself as well, you should know it’s hogwash.

Try this experiment:

Close your eyes and think of nothing.

You might be able to achieve this for a few seconds, until you’re awash in thought.

Seemingly endless thoughts.

Strange thoughts. Musings. Dreams. Realizations. Completely random notions.

Who’s creating this?


You are creating all the time.

The problem is not that you’re not creative.

The problem is directing that creativity somewhere.

This is called craft.

Craft happens when someone takes their creativity and puts it to work.

Craft is not simple.

It takes effort and time.

It’s often nonlinear, coming in fits and bursts.

Craft is the desired output of creativity.

An article.
A work of art.
A new building.

What we don’t see:

  • mountains of unpublished works sitting in authors’ hard drives
  • unfinished songs, EPs and albums of talented musicians.
  • the blank canvas holding so much potential in the artists’ studio

All too often we judge ourselves by others’ craft – the final output of their creativity – and deem ourselves not creative.

You now know this to be a lie.

You are naturally creative.

Now it’s time to turn it to craft.

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