Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

This is my 1,250th post in this blog! Wow.

I have been thinking a lot this week about creativity. I believe being creative is as much a part of being human as eating and breathing. However, it is a part that has been tamped down and stomped on by capitalism, which sees creativity only as a commodity to be bought and sold. Creativity comes about in many forms and people can be quite, um, creative, in their search for self-expression through various outlets.

So today I give you 13 ways one might be creative.

1. Writing. Computers have taken some of the fun out of writing and I highly recommend going back to pencil and paper occasionally. There is a connection between hand, pen and paper that one does not attain using the computer keyboard. It's like certain sections of the brain turn off and on.

2. Drawing. When people think of art, this is usually what they think about. Pictures on canvas. But doodling counts, scribbling counts, even making weird drawings on the computer counts, though there again I recommend paint and canvas or paper or whatever medium one prefers.

3. Decorating. Finding new ways to use old items, or splashing a coat of paint on a wall to make something look different or new, is a way to be creative. Even hunting through the pile of throw pillows in JC Pennys is an arm of this creativity, because you'll know when you see what you need.

4. Gardening. Growing something is a special sort of creativity, I think. It is almost like being The Creator in that you are taking what looks like nearly nothing and with a little love and sustenance watching something grow. And then there are gardening and landscape designs, ways of beautifying the lawn, etc., etc.

5. Tinkering. My husband looked at me in surprise recently when I said his father, who tinkers with every piece of machinery and metal on the farm, is suffering from stifled creativity. But what else would you say about someone who sits around and thinks up unique and different ways to accomplish a job? That's darned creative if you ask me.

6. In the office. I think an office that allows  for creative ways to solve problems is a much better place to work than one that does not. I once saw a chiropractor who went through receptionists about every three months, and the reason was she was a control freak who micromanaged everything the employee did, right down to the time it had to be done.

7. Time management. Creative time management means more than just multi-tasking. It is a method of living and juggling balls that takes a creative mind to make it happen. It is a form of organizing that is special in its own right, and since it frequently eludes me it is not one I can really explain. I just know it exists.

8. Exploring. Walking through the parks, woods or fields opens up a new world of wonders. There are insects, rocks and leaves to explore. Things to see. Air to breathe and smell. Clouds to view, horizons to gaze out upon.

9. Reuse. When I was about 9 years old, I took dishwashing detergent bottles and paper bags and made little lamps out of them. I then went about decorating an entire little house for myself out of such materials. But you don't have to be a child to find a creative use for an unwanted or no-longer necessary item. Even reusing a grocery bag as a trash bag in the small garbage bin in the bathroom has a spark of creativity about it.

10. Cooking. Cooking is a great outlet for frustrated creative people. Creating a great meal is like painting a masterpiece or writing a wonderful short story. It's out there for all to enjoy. You can do this every day simply by thinking about a recipe and making a few changes. I am pretty sure I have never made meatloaf the same way twice.

11. Brainstorming ideas. Talking things over is a great way to be creative. It involves many skills - listening, self-expression, communicating, etc. Have you ever watched an animated conversation of ideas? You can almost see the creativity jumping from one brain to the next. It is contagious and very exciting.

12. Self-exploration. Taking classes that teach you how to think differently, or reading books that open eyes and minds, journaling, even blogging, are all ways to explore the inner world and open it up so that stuff tumbles out. Sometimes that might be bad stuff but it can also be very good ideas, thoughts, desires, hopes and dreams.

13. Dreaming and day dreaming. Day dreaming is another passive activity that sparks creativity in movement sometimes. I highly recommend staring out the window and allowing thoughts to roam around. Sometimes I have an entire soap opera running around in my head; sometimes it is simply a visualization of something calming and soothing to ease a tired mind. But of all creative outlets, I value this one as much as anything, because while they can take away your oven or your little plot of land, so far they cannot yet invade your mind.

Thursday Thirteen is played by many bloggers. You can see who all participates here. This is the 148th week I have played!


  1. What a great list. I usually write all the rough drafts of my books with pen to paper. For me, my imagination seems to take flight this way as opposed to staring at a blank computer screen.

    Happy T13!

  2. Excellent list - writing and cooking are my two favorite ways to express my creativity. I would also love to take a class; I'm constantly looking through our local community college's course catalog.

  3. I find that I write better on a computer. I think it's because I have rotten handwriting.

    Have a great day!

  4. I was completely stifled by a boss once who would not allow me to finish a sentence but interrupted and interjected constantly. I lasted less than two months at that job. What a jerk he was. The girl before me only lasted a few weeks as well.

  5. Most of us don't stop to think that we are being creative if it isn't in the usual paint, pen or music way. The kitchen is definitely my studio these days. Great list.

  6. Like "I Am Harriet," I write better on a computer, too. My thoughts become electrical energy that flows from my brain, down my arms, into my fingertips, and zaps onto the screen—way faster than I could handwrite it.

  7. Ladies, I did say use pen and paper "occasionally"! I prefer to write on the computer too, mostly because I cannot read my hand writing, but every so often a change is a good way to spark creativity!

  8. My dh agrees with you on the writing front. He always writes out his guest posts for me in long hand on a legal pad. Works the opposite for me. Takes so long to write by hand half the time I've forgotten the wording before I get to the end of the sentence. Give me a keyboard any day.

  9. Excellent post, Anita! I always pocket my camera and a small notebook on walks - you never know when you'll be inspired. And speaking of creativity...I think you're going to love my post for this week (and next week's, too!). ;)

  10. A wonderful list. I'm in the process of writing my second novel and when I get stuck I go to my journal and use paper and pen.

  11. Great list. I would add photography.

  12. My husband is creative but I can't put my finger on how, making connections and seeing possiblities?


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