Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Importance of Creativity

by Beth Ferree
Throughout history creative genius has been connected with mental illness. Edgar Allen Poe died in the streets, drugged out and dried up. Emily Dickinson created poems secluded in her room, seeing only family and a few friends. It became fashionable to suffer for your art.
Psychologists have discovered a link between those who are highly creative and the tendency to develop bipolar disorder. Indeed, the very process of creating may sometimes seem to be a manic depressive episode. When inspiration hits it is a recalcitrant child. The need to create sits at your feet and kicks its heels until you pay attention. Then, when the ideas start flowing, they come at a pace any sprinter would envy. Often it is difficult to write fast enough to keep up with the thoughts as they tumble out. Once the poem is written, or the painting is finished, there is an exhaustion. If you are not emotionally stable at the outset, it would be incredibly difficult to deal with this inspirational cycling.
When you consider the emotional turmoil the creative genius often experiences, you must wonder what possible advantages there could possibly be to creativity. In reality, these cycles of inspiration don't occur with everyone and the benefits of exercising your creative muscles far outweigh the disadvantages.
Creative people tend to be more intelligent and curious than the average person. Pablo Picasso once said, "I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it." Never stopping to rest on his laurels, he died in his 90's, some of his greatest work created the last 25 years of his life. Ironically, Picasso was afraid to paint. Creative persons face their fears head on.
If you are wondering how to develop your creativity, odds are you aren't interested in creating The Mona Lisa or writing the next Great American Novel. You are probably far more interested in how creativity will benefit you in business or personal life. If you've ever tried to solve a problem that seemed to have no solution or dealt with a contrary child, you definitely understand that creativity is an essential tool for success.
There are certain personality traits creative people possess that you can learn to develop and nurture. By mastering these, you will not only become more creative but your self esteem will blossom. Someone who is creative tends to be flexible and easy going. They do not rattle easily and tend to take life in stride. They are motivated and tend to be very knowledgeable about their field of expertise. Risk takers by nature, they aren't afraid to try new things or, when fears begin to plague them, they plow ahead regardless. These are the people who bring about change in the world.
One of the most admirable traits of the creative is the ability to be a nonconformist. It is probably also one of the most difficult to emulate. Wisdom is one of the end results of creativity, and true wisdom is impossible to achieve if you are constantly concerned with the thoughts and actions of those around you. Creative genius is one of those rare commodities bestowed upon a blessed few at birth. Only in the last two decades have scientists been able to determine what it is and discover those who have it. However, creativity dwells within each of us and taking the time to nurture it will reap you many rewards.
Beth Ferree is the author of two ebooks and numerous print articles. She currently works as a ghost writer on a fantasy novel and as a virtual assistant for an online clothing company. Her third ebook, Tickle Your Muse, will be coming out shortly.
You can read this article and others at Article reprinted with permission from EzineArticles


Ryshia's Travels said...

Love your post. I stumbled on it if you can believe it while researching whether MySpace was a great marketing tool or the site from hell (LOL). What a thought provoking post. Kudos


Carol Burge said...

Hi Ryshia,

Thanks for "stumbling" onto my site and leaving a comment. I'm glad you liked the post. It's one of my favorites.

As for MySpace, I think you'd find it's a great marketing tool. I don't know how familiar you are with MySpace, but there are a LOT of writers and readers there.

If you'd like to get a feel for the community, stop by my page and take a look around or click on one of my friends' links.

If you decide to set up a page, please be sure and "friend" me.



annie kelleher said...

wonderful post... i really enjoyed this article. thank you!!!

Carol Burge said...

Thanks for reading, annie!