Unlike riding a bike most activities, when stopped for a while, will result in the diminishment of skill. If a ballerina stops dancing for a year, she’ll find it a little harder to pirouette the next time she attempts it, just as a gym junkie may find it difficult to run as fast after busting a hamstring. Though hardly spoken of, the same can be said about creativity.
If like me you’ve had many about of writers block, you’ll most often find that it occurs when you’ve not being doing it routinely. The brain reacts like a muscle would, hence why it seemed so much easier to write a thesis in high school. By routinely flexing your creativity you are more likely to produce better results.
The event ‘Exercising your creative fitness’ was hosted by Dominique Falla, a Brisbane based speaker, author and tactile typographer. Easily captivating the audience, Dominque started her presentation on the importance of exercising the creative muscle and how creative fitness is not only just useful for artists and stereotypically ‘artistic’ types, but people of all professions. Based on her book ‘How to boost your creative fitness in 20 minutes’, Dominique touched on some of the main themes of her novel.
Most common excuses used about creativity (Yes, excuses!)
I don’t have time to be creative
Oh pish posh! Dominque Falla happily put on her sassy hat for this one. Time is simply a matter of sorting priorities. For instance, despite having a very heavy schedule most people will take a moment to kick-start their day with a coffee or alternatively, hit up the gym. These activities are justified as they are seen as necessities i.e. ‘I can’t start my day without caffeine’ or ‘physical activity is good for me.’
Vastly underappreciated, flexing your creativity and exercising your brain is just as important, especially if your job requires an imaginative mind. By taking a small part of your day to be creative or even combining activities to save time i.e. reading a few chapters with your Latte, you can slowly improve your creative flow.
I’m just not all that creative
All children are creative; it is only when we grow older that we seem to ‘lose it.’ In reality we are simply just not exercising it as much anymore. Though it’s probably best not to start pretending to be a horse again, (though whatever floats your boat) utilising that sense of artistic freedom can be paramount to your creative success. It is only when we limit ourselves that we do not and cannot progress. To put it bluntly, using this reason is merely an excuse to avoid ‘brain strain’ something of which can start to gradually ease if time is taken each day to train the creative muscle.
My sister is the creative one
Creativity isn’t patented- just because you know of, or have someone close to you who is artistic doesn’t mean you can’t be too. Though it may be daunting to take up the Cello if your sibling is the next Yo-Yo Ma, there are a plethora of creative activities you can take up that are widely diverse- painting, writing, scrapbooking…writing a blog about airports of the world (Yes, that’s really a thing) the possibilities are endless. By avoiding certain activities, especially such a broad spectrum that is ‘creativity’, you are only limiting yourself. Your life is not an American sit-com- you don’t need to act and behave in a way that is the polar opposite to your sibling.
I feel selfish when I’m being creative
A good point Dominique raised was the double standard involved with the prospect of creative recreation as opposed to the readied acceptance of daily exercise. Putting it in perspective, is it truly selfish if what you are doing is not at the detriment of someone else? By regularly employing various brain exercises one can slowly cultivate their mind set and improve their creative flow, kind of like brain training. This will not only improve your life but the quality of your work as well which is something everyone can benefit from. Now how is that selfish?