What inspires our love of comics and other geek creations is the creativity involved: inventing characters, worlds, and stories and visualizing them in unique ways. Sometimes we read them to escape, to feel connected, to feel challenged. Creativity is a comic creator’s job. I envy that.
Deliberately cultivating creativity in my life often feels like a luxury instead of a necessity. I could sit down and write or draw, oh, but wait – the dishes need to be done, the dogs need to be walked, etc. At work, it’s emails that need to be sent, research that needs to be completed, etc. Even when I have attempted to carve out space for creativity, I end up succumbing to these pressures. And there is something especially intimidating about that blank white processing screen or drawing pad. Wouldn’t I much prefer to do something easier that I know needs to be completed in order to keep my life running more smoothly?
I don’t think I’m the only one who has these sort of thought processes when it comes to finding time for creativity. Well, I think it’s time to call creativity a necessity. A necessity for being human. And the thing is creativity isn’t limited to the arts – creativity is needed for problem-solving, communication, social interaction, etc., but if we don’t deliberately cultivate it then we never develop it. We don’t apply it to these scenarios, instead we fall back on our regular habits and procedures. And bigger picture — we need creativity to be better people. More compassionate, more thoughtful, more open people.
So to put these ideas in action, we at WWAC are launching a new series on creativity. We will share tips and ideas for finding and maintaining creativity as well as featuring the creative processes and lives of geeky artists, writers, and creators (which is everyone, by the way).
Currently, I am reading famous dancer Twyla Tharp’s book The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use it for Life. The New Your Times calls it a “self-help book for the creatively challenged.” Which first of all, screw you NYT. Tharp’s book is really just about making time and maintaining time for creativity in your life whether you are a dancer, painter, sales clerk, HR manager, data analyst, etc.
For those of us who just need the push into valuing creativity more in our lives, here is your first challenge, should you choose to accept it. Sit down in front of that blank space (whether computer screen, drawing pad, writing pad, wall, etc.) and ask yourself what’s the struggle? Why might you be avoiding this? What are you doing instead? Why are you valuing these activities over this? Just think.