Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Mon, May 07 2018

Isn't that why they call it Creative Writing?

I'm not really fond of those creativity tests. I've taken several of them and found results that ranked me all over the spectrum. I question even the validity of the questions and the way they're presented. They're not very open-ended and they don't allow for the actual use of brainstorming. They're designed to pull up a head-load of the bias of past task-solving in very limited situations. If you're asked to come up with uses for a brick and you're told to list one-word answers, where's the creativity in that?

For a truly creative person, a test is limiting and structured. The very idea of being tested makes some people freeze up and not be able to think freely with their answers. Such a test hardly allows for two (or more) diverse ideas to come out of nowhere and be thrown into the mix in ways that a test builder would never even consider. (For me, this questions the ability of the test builder's creativity.)

I would suggest something a little more gut level when it comes to finding the answer as to how creative someone is. Ask these sorts of questions of yourself:

Has anyone ever told you that you're a very reliable worker, but not very creative?
How did you feel about being told that?

Have you ever looked in the mirror and told yourself that you're not very creative?
How did you feel about being told that?

When was the most creative time in your life?
How do you feel when remembering that time?

Almost everyone can think back to the school subject they struggled with most as a young person. Is there something specific a teacher (or other mentor or peer) could have said or done to help you better understand that subject? Why do you think they didn't help you that way? Could that be changed for you or some other student now? How?

We often think of creativity as some magic essence that is either there or not there. Do you believe creativity can be awakened in almost everyone, given the right circumstances and choices?

Is creativity in the DNA? Is it some wide open field that other people begin fencing off during our development? Do we gradually stop opening the gates to access and explore?

Many people tell me they could never be a writer because they aren't creative at all, but they say this with a faraway look in their eyes and I suspect that they've been listening to voices they could easily contradict, even voices from within their own mind. If enough people keep telling us we're not creative and if we even keep telling ourselves that, we're likely to begin believing it on some level. If you feel even a tiny bit sad or rebellious to the idea that you're not creative, the case isn't closed. Prove it. Show us what you've got.

posted at: 13:18 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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