Last year, work for my husband and I was all over the place, so to supplement our income I put on my big girl knickers and got myself a 'real job' in a retail book store. It's called Paperbark Educational Supply Store, it's based in Albany, Western Australia, and is a little bit funky I'm going to plug it here.
Whilst working there I was privy to some thoughts and ideas sitting in the minds of the educators and parents who frequented the store. I started to notice a common theme in the conversations taking place in that funky little store. Almost everyone who came in spoke about this one topic (except the odd grumpy customer, who just grumbled or those who came in to see if we sold golf buggy's or dog leads...hmmmmm)
Every day at least one customer spoke about creativity and not in a 'oooh creativity is so cool' kinda way, more of the 'boo creativity is being sucked out of us all' kinda way.
'It's too late, creativity is gone, dead, buried, doomed'.
'New teachers do everything on a screen nowadays, how can kids be creative with a screen?'
I thought to challenge this one, of course I could think of a zillion ways screen can be incorporated into creative play - but I wasn't there to lecture the customers with my happy tales of fun, artsy things kids can do with screens and other crazy ideas.
'There is just NO creativity left! And there are no good resources that I can use to help me teach creativity to my kids'
I'm not joking, someone actually said that…a tad dramatic perhaps, but there does seem to be a bit of a concensus that this is in fact the case.
So, is creativity gone, dead, buried or doomed? Do we really need resources to teach us how to teach creativity?
The truth is that no of course it's not dead, gone, buried or doomed.
Creativity is innate, creativity JUST IS! That is true for all of you..every single one of you gorgeous beings are filled with an abundance of creativity.
From time to time it does perhaps take a little Nanna nap.
I know my own creative-ness likes a nap from time to time. I don't even know it's happened, I might be trundling along ticking all my 'supposed to' boxes until one day I stop and notice that I feel agitated, overwhelmed and stuck!
It is the way that I feel that alerts me to the my creativity's lethargy. It can feel scary, boring and dull. Especially is you rely on your creative prowess for your work. You might feel like you actually are a Nanna (Nanna discrimination disclaimer: I'm talking about the boring beige wearing kind of Nanna, not cool Nanna's like mine who are both definitely not boring or dull)
Although sometimes I feel like I flushed my creativity down the loo along with Atly (my little brother's cherished goldfish - it was a devastating experience,still haunts me) I know that is not the truth, it's not down the loo, it is just a bit sleepy. And that's ok. It won't sleep for ever.
Creativity Ebbs and Flows, many an artist, musician, writer have said that some of their best work emerged after their own creativity took a Nanna nap. See, it's totally ok
Creativity is not about painting, making, writing, following instructions from a book or doing anything at all in the first instance. Yes - those are all creative pursuits but real creativity comes before all that lovely doing.
It is first something you feel.
I could point you in the direction of a thousand different sites that give you instructions, tips and ideas on how to wake that little bugger up, or provide you with a dot point list of things to try. I'm not going to do that. (not in this post anyway)
So what can you do right now?
Commit just one minute of your time right now...one minute to take a few breaths and check in with your self, literally stop what you are doing for exactly one minute and notice how you feel.
If you discover that you are feeling a bit dull, boring and beige maybe your creativity is napping; Your instinct might be to think, inform or educate yourself out of your creative slumber but don't worry your beautiful face about the doing part of it...not just yet.
Be kind to yourself, give yourself a little hug for allowing yourself that one minute... and contemplate that perhaps whilst your creativity is sleeping - it's dreaming up delicious things for you.
have fun . get happy
If you care to share what happened in your one minute creativity check in...go for it. I'd love to hear from you x
This post is part of a 2 part series - sign up for more, unless your'e a boring, beige wearing Nanna who doesn't really like fun things, if you are, this is probably not for you - have a lovely day though!