I’ve been thinking a lot recently about creativity and what it means to be creative. If a stranger asked me today if I was a creative person, without skipping a beat I would say no. I don’t consider myself a creative person. When I think back to secondary school, I didn’t enjoy the creative subjects. Art, music, drama (cringe!), creative writing, I could do well enough to pass but no one ever told me I was good at any of them, and there were certainly lots of people who were far better than me, so I stopped trying. It wasn’t my thing.
Years later, as an adult with a job and a fiancé, a little flat and a cat, I started seeking out ways to be creative. I tried card making, knitting, sewing, baking and cross stitch, amongst other things. I think each time I was thinking that maybe this would be it, the creative thing that I would be good at. But each time I gave up. Not because I didn’t enjoy it, and not because I couldn’t do it, but because I wasn’t as good as other people, I wasn’t a master at it, I was just average. I was frustrated at not being able to achieve perfection. So what was the point? And it’s embarrassing to make things that are a bit rubbish isn’t it? Because surely everybody will just think why did she bother?
And so I resigned myself to the fact that I’m just not creative. I might have a go at following a Pinterest tutorial to make something every now and again, but creating something all of my own was not for people like me.
Fast forward to now and starting this blog and I’ve begun dabbling in photography and videography. Even just crafting a blog post is creative when you think about it, thinking of words and writing them down, creating myself a little place on the Internet. But again the thoughts start to creep in, I’ll never take photos as good as her, my videos aren’t nearly as professional as so and so, I can’t even begin to write as well as who’s her face…. I’m just not creative enough for this. But this time I’m brushing them aside.
Because I think all this time I’ve been confusing creativity with talent.
Am I super talented at any of the creative pursuits I’ve tried so far? Sadly no. But do I enjoy the process of creating something from nothing? Yes! Do I have an urge to make things? Yes! (especially mini humans). Do I love the feeling of having something that is a little bit of me out in the world? Yes!
I don’t know where I got this idea from that you can’t be creative if you don’t have talent, because it’s a load of old rubbish isn’t it? I mean anybody can be creative can’t they? All you have to do is have an idea, and make something.
So what if I make skirts with wonky stitching or my photos are over exposed, or my blanket has dropped stitches? There’s so much joy to be found in being creative, choosing colours and patterns, designing something, composing a photo…. I don’t want to miss out because of my insecurities about what other people might think.
I want to set a good example for my children too, I never want them to give up on being creative because they can’t achieve perfection. I want to encourage my children to value creativity for creativity’s sake. I want them to find the joy in experimenting and trying things out, with no pressure to achieve anything apart from trying an idea.
My blog is far from perfect, but it’s perfect for me. It’s my collection of stories and pictures and videos of my family and our life, and I’m proud of it and so thankful for it. It’s my way of being creative and it’s my time capsule of memories for the future.
I’ve realised that actually, I am a creative person. Being creative makes me happy, and you should always do what makes you happy, and never be worried that someone else might think it’s worthless.
That’s what I want to teach my children, and so that’s how I’m going to start living.
And I’ll leave you with some of my favourite, least rubbish photos….
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