Introducing “Creativity”

We are all creative beings.

Whether it be working out what’s for dinner and “creatively” putting together what’s in the fridge, planning a unit of work for your Yr 4 class, working out a project schedule or actively being “creative” – painting, making music, doing craft.

So why do so many people feel they aren’t ‘creative’?

I think there is a misconception about what is ‘creativity’ and being ‘creative’. For me, it is coming up with an idea and then developing that idea – shaping it, investigating it, nurturing and growing it – and then having something to show for the process at the end – a product. And this process and the thinking that occurs from the birth of the idea through to the final product is where creativity comes into play. It’s the swirling, sparking thoughts that race around your brain. Some you catch and apply, others you let pass. And once you have these little gems, you weave them together.

The Oxford Dictionary defines “Creativity” as: ‘the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness’. INNOVATION – the catch cry of the world at the moment! We are asking people young and old to be innovators – to think “outside the box” – and yet so many people still walk around saying they aren’t ‘creative’ and funding is being cut to the Arts – the one subject and area that naturally teaches innovation and invention.

I always hear from my teaching colleagues when they are challenged to ‘create’ something – “Oh, I’m not arty”, “I’m not musical”, “I can’t do that” – and yet everyday, in their classrooms, they are constantly thinking and creating ways to inspire and challenge their students.

Everyday, these teachers create – then stand and perform. They act out the hardest and longest running play known to mankind – “Teaching the Future”.

They walk onto the stage – put all their personal trials, tribulations and celebrations on hold – and weave magic over their audience day in and day out.

It is hard work. It is tiring. There is rarely a round of applause or bunch of flowers at the end of it. Yet, we create and then we show up. For – the show must go on.

I truly believe teachers should be encouraged to explore and realise their creative potential. Their potential as innovators and the role they play in creating the “thinkers” and “dreamers” of the future.

This morning I went and saw “The Greatest Showman”! Wow- what a film! The lady at the Candy Bar told me how filled with happiness I’d be and I’d walk out feeling happy and smiling.

So, when I saw her after the show and told her I did love it but that I cried most of the way through – she looked puzzled – “What was sad in it?” she asked. I just answered, “They were tears of happiness. I just loved it so much.”

I didn’t think she needed to know they were tears from someone standing at a crossroads. Someone who is dearly missing their creative spirit and having the time and space to explore it. Someone who saw herself and her spirit echoed in so many of the characters. And someone who can’t help but be moved by music.

They were tears from someone who during that film made a decision.

I walked out feeling lighter, happier and confident that the dreams and ideas I have are soon going to be a reality.

Inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic” – I am going to grab those ideas and give myself the time and space to grow and develop them and see where they take me. I am not going to let fear stop me. I am going to live my life more creatively.

I love my family – my two children and husband – and I owe it to them and myself to start making my dreams come true. And in doing so I hope to be a happier and healthier person. I hope to be able to show my children that you don’t need to settle for a life of misery. That it is OK to follow your dreams.

For in following your dreams, magical things can happen.

As the eternally wise Dr Suess says:

You have brains in your head,

You have feet in your shoes,

You can steer yourself any direction you choose…

…Oh, the places you’ll go!

from “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by Dr Suess

(**keep your eye out for a future blog post about this amazingly inspiring book!)

Happy creating and dreaming.

Danielle x

PS – “The Greatest Showman” made me feel how I did when I first saw “Moulin Rouge” – another amazing and gorgeous film about life, love and the creative spirit.

PPS – How amazing is Hugh Jackman? In case you haven’t seen it, here’s a little sneak peek. And if you have seen it, well, you know you want to watch it again.

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