Creativity

Towards the end of last year, my friend Michael Schechter was kind enough to invite me to chat on his 2×4 series.

The idea behind 2×4 is simple: one series that examines two topics, creativity and productivity, by asking those who make things on the web the same four questions on both subjects.

I had a blast answering Mike’s questions, and thought it’d be cool to share the answers here. In this first part, we talk Creativity – make sure you drop by on Wednesday for the Productivity answers.

Have you always considered yourself to be a creative person?

I’m not sure. I think it depends on how you’re defining creativity. If a kid makes a mess, is that creativity? Because it wasn’t there before, and the kid had to take actions and bring them to the fore to make the mess, so is that a creative process? I’ve always been passionate about writing and storytelling, and how that can impact on someone’s mindset. But then, that just kinda came natural, so I’m not sure if that counts. Sorry for the lame answer!

What mediums and inspirations do you gravitate towards to realize your creative goals?

Well, blogging is probably my number one medium, both from a writing angle and a reading angle. Some of the best, most outright and questioning content today is coming from blogs. People like Gini Dietrich, Adam Singer, Geoff Livingston, Olivier Blanchard and others like them are writing stuff that everyone should read. I’m also a big TED fan – if you can’t find inspiration from their channel on YouTube, you’re probably a zombie.

If you had to point to one thing, what specific posts or creation are you most proud of and why?

From a creation, it’d have to be the12for12k project. To see what started out as a simple idea to use social media to raise funds and awareness for charities turn into the community it did, has been pretty inspiring. I love the fact that people truly wanted to be involved – it was a real team effort, and the fact that everyone donated their time for free was just amazing. From a blog post angle, I’d say the one where I talk about my attempted suicide is the one I’m most proud of, because it helped others open up about their demons and understand they’re not alone. To me, that’s what blogging is all about – the human connection and the potential to change lives.

Any suggestions for those who feel they may not be creative take to unlock their inner artist?

Practice doing it. It doesn’t matter if that’s blogging, painting, making movies, taking picture or whatever. Make time every day – even if it’s just five minutes – and take a picture, or write a blog post, or shoot something on your video camera. You don’t have to publish it – just get into the habit of doing it, and learning your trade. You’ll be surprised at how you grow, both in creativity and the strength to actually make your creation public.

image: Imagine24