How To Be Creative

Creativity Comes From Uncertainty

Only when the painter no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.
— Edgar Degas

A few weeks ago I was at my desk, not sure what to write about. Not being sure, and being comfortable not being sure, led to this...

Creatives and Non-Creatives

I never knew how to be creative. For me, creativity was not something that I was fully aware of until my early twenties. Before then I have memories of thinking that there were two types of people: creatives and non-creatives. I thought I was non-creative, just good at learning and analysing and understanding, but not able to come up with any fresh ideas.

School can contribute to this, or any culture that tends to equate success with the ability to learn and regurgitate information that you have already been told. The mind can get trained to see value only in noise and facts and learned pathways, rather than seeing any value in space.

And space is what leads to creativity. Not knowing what to write to you today, I end up writing this with ease. The key is letting yourself not know, rather than trying to force something onto it.

The Space Of Not Knowing

After coming across spiritual teachings on the nature of the mind, consciousness, awareness and all the rest of it - I noticed creativity started to flow into my life without me even wanting it to. Creativity flows through space. Creativity comes by itself, rather than being forced.

That is not to say you don’t have to make yourself available. You do. You might have to sit at your desk before anything comes. If we expect inspiration while we are watching the TV or complaining about our problems then we will be left like that - expecting.

I feel that creativity comes through willingness, availability and stillness, but also an awareness that something flows through you. It flows through the gaps where “you” as a separate self are not so dominant, not so strained in trying to come up with something or trying to figure out what is best.

The Physical Structure

The creative force flows through a vehicle. It needs a structure to flow through - a brain or a body that is formed in a certain way. That is where skill can become genius. Two chefs might have the same abilities when it comes to chopping and seasoning food, but when one is open, relaxed and ready, he or she will experience ideas that feel fresh and powerful, which might even go against what their traditional mindset might be.

It takes a certain not-knowing. It takes a certain feeling into your body or being, rather than an analyzing with the mind. It is about relaxing any concerns of how something will turn out, or what the result will be. Action then becomes spontaneous, and there is a part of you that is just witnessing it all unfold.

Let Yourself Go

"Go with the flow" is a useful term, because sometimes we want to hold back. We want to keep ourselves safe, not make mistakes, and this kind of fear can block creativity. Go with the flow, see where things take you, and the more you get to trust your intuition, or the flow of creativity, the more you will see that it takes you places or produces things that you could have never imagined if you were trying to work it all out yourself.

I know people can advocate various practices for creativity, ways to rejuvenate the body and mind, and these can be good. They are even better when we notice that creativity thrives in a ready, open and un-knowing inner environment, which is not afraid to go with the flow.

Creativity Each Moment

As a final note, creativity is not limited to any one thing. It could be writing, painting, problem-solving, cooking, speaking, even fighting. A useful tool is to become more in touch with the intelligence of your body, and if you want to read more on this, you can read a post I wrote years ago about the inner body by clicking here.

Or check out a more recent post with specific tips on how to be more creative here.

I hope this article has been useful for you. Let me know your thoughts on how to be creative in the comments below, or feel free to share.