Yay! Not Nay: Creativity is for everyone

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The first week after being laid off from eight years on the job at the Herald-Tribune – and already knowing I was not going to look for full time work (unless fear and anxiety totally took me over) I was offered the opportunity to go to a “creativity conference.”

The Florida Creativity Weekend IX – Think Outside, Inside & Without a BOX (flcreativity.com) was put on by the newly formed Florida Creativity Coalition, LLC. The group consists of education, business, and not-for-profit community professionals “who actively implement creative thinking and innovation to make a positive difference in people’s lives and the wider world.” Well, I’m all for that!

It meant a lot to me to get the chance to choose workshops with names like: “Navigating the Change you Dare to Dream,” “The Magic of Electronic Presentations,” and “Expand Your Creativity: Maximize Your Potential.” These are all concepts I’m working on bringing into my new, nascent life as a FREE- lance writer, editor and content provider – with the emphasis on free (as in ‘released from shackles’ not ‘at no cost’).

Who knew that there was a whole great big teeming world of creativity, creative theory and creativity education? Not me. And by creative, these professionals don’t mean artistic – they are talking about creating businesses and running institutions and corporations.

Expand, Explore & Inspire

I have to admit that my personal favorite of the three workshops I attended was “Expand Your Creativity.” This was not JUST because of the young, attractive and energetic presenters from the Young Entrepreneurs club at USF St. Pete. It was also because the info was inspiring.

Coming out of an environment that, despite having to roll with massive change still had a lot of entrenched thinkers - embracing and expanding creativity was a relief and great fun.

The presenter Nathan Schwagler is known as a ‘creative problem-solving guru’ and is the Creative-in-Residence and Visiting Instructor of Entrepreneurship at USF, St. Petersburg College of Business. A fireball of energy, Nate came out swinging with energy, enthusiasm and mantras like:

“When you always do what you have always done, you always get what you’ve always got.”

“No more yes, but: only Yes, AND!”

And my personal favorite:

“I will not stop myself from embracing the creativity that comes naturally to me!”

3 Steps to Success

Later, I contacted Nate and he gave me his top three concepts for generating creative follow-through:

1) Start. The first step is the hardest step, and often the most intimidating one. The attribution line escapes me, but there is a great line about having a good idea should be like sitting on a tack - it should make you want to jump up and do something! (The actual quote is “Getting a good idea should be like sitting down on a pin; it should make you jump up and do something.” -E. L. Simpson).

2) Resist the siren song of perfection at all cost. Perfection is an illusion when it comes to creative work. There are only iterations. 

3) Commit to action publicly. Tell your friends, family, followers, subscribers, spam recipients, neighbors, kids, parents, etc., details about what you are creating. Their feedback will be useful (listen to all, heed what's necessary), and then you will emotionally be on the hook to produce something. It's weird, and it works. 

Wow. I'm on it. So, go ahead, say it with me: 

“I will not stop myself from embracing the creativity that comes naturally to me!”

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Comment by Audrey Veronica Bunn on April 12, 2012 at 3:38pm

“I will not stop myself from embracing the creativity that comes naturally to me!”!!!!!(*!*)

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