The Secret To Creativity?


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You don’t have to be a Picasso to paint.

You don’t have to be a Hemingway to write.

When it comes to creativity, it’s not about how “good” you are at it.  It’s about expressing it in your own unique style.

We are creative beings.  We are designed to create.  It’s not something that can be taught; it can only be nurtured.

When people ask me about what they can do to be creative, I tell them to show up and work at it.  Creativity is not about painting a masterpiece that will one day hang in a museum.  It’s not about writing a bestseller.

Creativity is what happens when you are trying to solve a problem.  That “problem” could be writing a poem, composing a song, designing a website, or landscaping your backyard.  You come to an empty space and then fill it with life.

If you look at Einstein, Picasso, Hemingway, or whomever you deem creative, you’ll find that they spent hours upon hours in front of their instruments of choice, applying their minds and souls to specific things. Sketch after sketch, draft after draft, they made attempt after attempt to get it right. They did the grunt work to master their skills to do more sophisticated work. They learned how to develop their ideas. They delivered finished work by showing up and working.  Each day.  Every day.

They didn’t give up.

So, if you want to be more creative, pick up something you care about or are interested in doing and then get to work at it.  If you start things and give up, then your problem isn’t a lack of creativity; it’s a lack of discipline and dedication.

Whether your creative attempts or endeavors turn out “good” or “bad” is inconsequential; things can always be improved upon as your skill set improves.  Being creative is not about perfection.  It’s about showing up every day and letting it flow in whatever direction it flows.

When you reach a skill level at which you feel comfortable, you can either stick with it, or you can choose to develop it further, so long as you remain detached from the outcome.  Instead, enjoy the process.  Learn from it.  Appreciate it for what it is and celebrate the discipline of it.  It’s a gift that can be sustained and enhanced with the right mindset, a favorable routine, and without putting too much pressure on yourself.

There is no substitute for showing up.  It may not solve every problem, but it will allow your creative juices to flow toward an outcome, whatever it may be.

12 thoughts on “The Secret To Creativity?

  1. Kathy Hadley

    Dear Penny,

    Very good points and quite encouraging!

    When, I was young, I did everything I wanted, like most people do when they are young. I wrote poetry, drew, painted, made up my own language, wrote songs, made up plays and we all acted them out, etc, etc.

    I even had my poetry published.

    Then, one day going over school test results I was found to be more analytical than creative and was put on the path of that.

    After CREATING many businesses, I remembered the more artistically creative me and just purchased canvas and paints and started painting free style.

    It was an emotional experience that I will never forget.

    I love your message and agree that whatever you want to do, just do it!

    Who knows where it may take you next!


    Thank you,

    Kathy Hadley recently posted…Guidance for Your Life – Day 6 of 30 Days of RenewalMy Profile

    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Hi Kathy!

      You were (and still are!) quite the creative soul as a child…as we all were and are. Uninhibited, free, flowing…creativity is such a natural state when we don’t block it’s positive energy.

      And you don’t have to be “good” at it to do it…just do it like Nike says.

      Creativity is truly a gift.

      Rock on with your creative self !


  2. Pamela Jacob

    I love this post – if people were not so intimidated thinking they have to be perfect at something they love they would find a lot more fulfillment in their lives.

    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Hi Pamela!


      No one should be ashamed of their special brand of creativity.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing.

  3. Lisa from Lisa's Life

    Good advice 🙂

    I was only saying to someone last week that you need to take a photo each day or write a few words each day or draw a little each day…when it’s ready the creation will happen but if you walk away from it, it can’t!

    Visiting from the Ultimate Blog Challenge.
    Lisa from Lisa’s Life recently posted…Ely Cathedral Open AfternoonMy Profile

    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Hi Lisa.

      I hope the person to whom you gave advice is doing what you suggested. Sometimes creativity happens like a lightning bolt, hitting us with such energy that we absolutely MUST create. Other times, creativity is a birthing process. As long as we show up, it will happen in one way or another.

      Good luck with the UBC! There are so many wonderful blogs to read!

  4. Harriet Stack

    Thanks for this post. When I was young, I used to write a lot. It was the only thing I could think of doing for a job. I kept writing right through university, but having spent three years studying the greats of English literature, I decided that I wasn’t ‘good enough,’ and gave up on my dream. It has only been in the last couple of years, three decades later, that I have dared to think that perhaps I could realise that dream. You are right – don’t give up!
    Harriet Stack recently posted…Arriving in KL and Visiting the Petronas TowersMy Profile

    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Hi Harriet!

      I’m so glad to hear that you are following your dream once again. If writing is your passion, follow it. Who knows where it will take you.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Thanks, Dan. You’ve done some amazing things with gardens. It’s definitely a gift of yours.

  5. Pingback: You Are Your Own Creative Solution |

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