Creativity: How Do We Begin?

I’ve been focusing on the concept of content creation lately. It seems that the future of educaiton is dependent on a much healthier dose of creativity. Both student and teacher will need to be creating more content. Studies prove that the best way to learn is to create content. Think about the addage, “the best way to learn something is to teach it”. What do you need to do to teach something, create content. Even if you are just verbally explaining a concept, you have to put it in your own words.

Creativity… the most inhibited action on the earth. Perhaps only shadowed by exercise. How to do get around to creating? For most it is about pressure. “Necessity is the mother of invention.” “Procrastination is the best motivator.” But what can we do to inspire creatvitiy immediately? What inspired me to begin writing this morning? To go to the gym afterwards, or any day for that matter?

I don’t think about the activity. I just get started. I’m not reading these words as I write, I know I’ll edit a couple of times before I post this. I won’t think about the exercise, I’ll put on my music and ignore the fatigue in my body. The initial result isn’t pretty. My words are clunky, my steps are lethargic, but once I see I have some words down, or I have a mile behind me, I realize that I AM doing this and I CAN finish it!

I’ve been thinking about another word that starts with a “C”, conviction. As in the state of being convinced. Once you are convinced of something, you don’t put energy into trying to disprove it. If you can put your mind in the frame of conviction about DOING something, you stop getting in your head and psyching yourself out and inhibiting. Nike’s “Just Do It!” is really the philosophy of tricking your mind into conviction before you make the argument for or against doing something, just decide you will do it! That’s conviction. Just decide you will get those paper’s graded. Just decide you will research a new learning strategy. Just decide you will exercise. Just get started… the result will be better than having done nothing.

So this is what goes through my mind, or doesn’t, when I manage to get past inhibition and DO. Creativity is not a result of a moment of inspiration… it is a result of deliberate execution without any thought toward the amount of effort or time it will take. Creativity is not a talent people are born with. It requires the practice, which you can’t obsess about, you just have to do and, before you know it, you will find that you have something you are proud of!

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2 Responses to Creativity: How Do We Begin?

  1. Timothy Smith says:
  2. Timothy Smith says:

    It’s been interesting to watch this concept continue to flourish in your thoughts over the past couple of months. There seems to be a lot of “regurgitation” without any creativity (I think of twitter, all people sharing the same links). Don’t misunderstand me, I like that there is a constant flow in Twitter as people continue to share each others great finds (web tools, ideas). But I think it is time for the NEXT STEP, the “remix” or create step. It’s time for us (educators) to expand on how we are taking others ideas and thoughts and using them. It’s time to share what we are creating from what we are learning. You write: “Creativity is not a result of a moment of inspiration… it is a result of deliberate execution without any thought toward the amount of effort or time it will take.” I’m not going to debate the idea of “creative inspiration” but I do think we rely on that MORE then the “deliberate execution”. I have been motivated to be deliberate about the creative process and just begin even if they first attempts are feeble and need much work.

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