Essay Sample on Developing Creativity

Published: 2023-01-25
Essay Sample on Developing Creativity
Type of paper:  Creative writing
Categories: Art Happiness Human behavior Personal development
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1744 words
15 min read

Creativity can be defined as the ability to produce quality novel ideas which help one complete task. It is also taken to be the potential traits relating to the intelligence and wisdom of an individual in the social context. Different people have different creativities and express it in various forms and contexts. Moreover, creativity extends beyond the confines of fine and performing arts. This paper seeks to explore the different ways and times when one practices behaviors, traits, and processes of creativity. Using different sources, the ways and times when different people in society encourage and discourage these traits, processes, and behaviors will also be discussed.

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PBS Video: "How to Be Creative"

This video acknowledges the difficulty that exists in defining creativity. Contrary to the beliefs of many, creativity cannot be adequately defined using the left brain and right brain dynamics. According to Julie Burstein, an author, though many people believe that creativity is inborn, it is a process that is developed throughout one's life. Figuring out how to go about one's craft is the first and scariest step of the process. Expanding one's capacity of uncertainty, according to the author, is an excellent way of navigating this step. The willingness to follow one's ideas and the ability to understand that not all ideas end up successful is also an essential step in this process. A creative must then develop their prompts and tools. Finally, the creative must work to actualize their creative ideas. As she quotes Chuck Close in 2:13, "Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work." Finally, a creative must keep at it through the excitement and despair until their ideas come to life.

According to Scott Barry Kaufman, a cognitive psychologist, there exist various cognitive stages of creativity. They are preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification. Each of the stages activates different neural networks. The verification stage makes use of the critical thinking skills acquired in the previous stages to packaging one's craft in a way that appeals to the audience. Ramsey Nasser, a computer scientist, emphasizes the need for collaboration in the creative process. The collaboration should be anchored on conversations, positive criticism, and trust. Collaboration helps amplify the voice of a lone artist to create a meta-artist. Finally, Kirby Ferguson, a filmmaker, advances that no idea is original. Though some creative ideas might seem to stem from one's subconscious, they are usually influenced by the works of other people. Therefore, creative people create their work through simple mimicry, transformation, and a combination of existing ideas.

Kaufman and Gregoire Article: "Wired to Create"

In this article, Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire redefine creativity and debunk various myths associated with creativity. They argue that though many people believe that creativity is lost during childhood, neuroscience has proven that everybody can be creative regardless of their age. They go further to outline various habits that one can adopt to foster creativity in their life. Imaginative play is the process through which children reveal their natural-born creativity. Imaginative play leads to effort and inspiration that can also spur learning and creativity in adults. A passion that is in sync with one's self and compatible with other activities that they engage in can lead to inspiration which in turn spurs creativity. However, passion only gives a start and hence, one must put in hard work to achieve their goals.

Though daydreaming and solitude are often discouraged in society, the authors advance that both may foster one's creativity. Daydreaming allows one's mind to wander offering rewards such as creative incubation, self-awareness, and reflection. The self-reflection achieved during solitude nourishes the creative mind. According to cognitive scientists, intuition has an impact on the way one thinks and hence affects their behavior and creativity. Openness and mindfulness are also cited as some habits that can spur creativity. Openness to experience allows one to explore both their inner and outer worlds, a factor that leads to creative achievement. Creative thinkers are also able to live in the present without judgment or distraction which further spurs creativity. People with high levels of sensitivity to their environment have also been shown to be creative. Creative people also possess the ability to turn adversity to advantage. Finally, they should be able to think differently.

Scott Barry Kaufman's Interview: "Wired to Create"

In this video, Rose Caiola interviews Scott Barry Kaufman, the author of Wired to Create, about various issues regarding his book. He emphasizes on the need for people to seek their deeper selves and embrace self-expression to foster their creativity in a world that is increasingly moving away from self-expression and self-identity especially in the face of rapid technological advancement. He further states that though society confines creativity to the arts, creativity can be an idea or any other process in which a person relates to the world. There is also a need to get rid of the rigid mindset and create more room for daydreaming which would help the young generation create a future for themselves.

Adam Grant's TEDTalk: "The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers"

Adam Grant advances that procrastination, fear and doubts, as well as lots of bad ideas as some of the surprising habits of original thinkers. He argues that medium procrastinators, those that fall between pre-procrastinators and chronic procrastinators, get more time to think and hence have a higher likelihood of ending up with original ideas. They are fast to start but slow to finish. For instance, Da Vinci took sixteen years to create the Mona Lisa. Just like the rest of the population, original thinkers also have to overcome fear and doubts regarding their ideas and ability. The fact that original thinkers have many bad ideas increases their probability of stumbling upon an original idea.

Eudaemonia's Video: "How to Be More Creative"

Though creative ideas come from one's subconscious, to foster creativity, productivity, and gain inspiration, one must stick to three rules that have been practiced for centuries. To actualize one's ideas, one must do that which they have in mind. To get better at it, they must do it often. Finally, seeking advice from those who know more helps one improve faster. To enhance creativity, one must also identify situations in which they are most creative, create time for their craft, and adopt habits and attitudes exhibited by creative people. Exploring helps one get more creative ideas. Writing down ideas helps prevent losing them. Discipline and hard work help one improve their skills. Persistence helps a creative overcome burnout and discouragement that comes with the process.

Sarah Lewis' TEDTalk: "Embrace Near Win"

In this video, Sarah Lewis distinguishes success from mastery and emphasizes on the importance of a near win to an artist. While success is a moment, mastery is a continuous pursuit of excellence that allows the artist to do it excellently again and again. On a near win, she advances that most of the masterpieces seen today were considered unfinished or not good enough by their creators. While success motivates, near wins propels one in their quest and enables them to focus on addressing their weaknesses. According to her, completion should be a good but never an end. As she says in 9:18, "We thrive when we've not done it all, but when we have more to do".

Tim Harford's TEDTalk: "How Frustration Can Make Us More Creative"

Tim Harford points out that embracing a mess or the unexpected can lead to the creation of something beautiful. According to cognitive psychology, difficulties improve one's performance. This happens because difficulties slow none down, makes them work harder and think more. Distractions also enhance creativity by enabling one to think outside the box. Unfortunately, though distractions foster creativity, most artists see them as obstructions and hence resist them.

Warren Berger's Article: "These 5 Questions Kill Creativity"

Though questions can foster creativity by firing up one's imagination, they can also kill creativity by undermining confidence or misdirecting focus. In this article, Warren Berger discusses some of the questions that can kill creativity. 'Am I creative?' is a question often asked by artists. Unfortunately, this question has the potential to kill creativity. It leads to the entrenchment of the myth that some people are born creative while others are not. The question hurts one's confidence hence suppressing their creativity. The second question that artists ask is, 'where will I find an original idea? However, the quest for an original idea is a fallacy. As confirmed in the above discussions, creativity arises from transforming, combining, and improving existing ideas. The author cites, 'where will I find time to create' as the third question that kills creativity. Though deep creative work requires significant time, it can always be allocated by rearranging one's schedule. 'How can I come up with a blockbuster idea?' is the fourth question frequently asked by artists. This stems from the false need to create a work that changes the world and wins the admiration of millions. Though an artist should be ambitious, the greater focus should be on creating a good piece rather than on the outcome. Finally, Berger cites 'where do I begin' as the fifth question that kills creativity. Artists are advised to begin with whatever they have and then build on it.


This discussion has been a real eye-opener. It has completely changed my perception of creativity, a factor that will undoubtedly improve my approach to creativity and how I interact and communicate with others at both a personal and professional level. Personally, the most important lessons that I have learnt from this discussion is that there is nothing like an original idea and that one need not have the full picture before embarking on their creative journey. On the contrary, creative ideas come from combining or improving existing works, and one can start with an incomplete idea and then build it up. The discussion has also revealed the need for support since creativity comes with a lot of doubts and discouragements. Therefore, I will strive to be the friend that all creative people need both in my communication and behavior. On a professional level, the discussion has revealed that all people are creative. This will help me stop categorizing people into creative and non-creative groups. Moreover, as a leader, I will use this knowledge to foster creativity in the workplace. For instance, providing a conducive environment for the workers to get in touch with both the present as well as their subconscious can greatly foster their creativity.

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