18 Myths about Creativity That Are Holding Your Inner Artist Hostage

MYTH #1: Creativity is about making something out of nothing.
REALITY: Creativity is about making connections between existing things.

MYTH #2: Creativity is something you DO and HAVE
REALITY: Creativity is something you ARE.

MYTH #3: Creativity is about making the material come to you.
REALITY: Creativity is about unblocking the flow of what’s already there. (For the best way to relieve artistic consipation, read this.)

MYTH #4: Writer’s block is the greatest enemy to creativity.
REALITY: Thinker’s block is the greatest enemy to creativity. (If you want to avoid Thinker’s Block, read this.)

MYTH #5: There is an official “process” to creativity.
REALITY: There are many processes to creativity, each of which has many different layers.

MYTH #6: Creativity comes (primarily) from hard work and (partially) from inspiration.
REALITY: Creativity comes equally from forcing yourself to create AND harnessing inspiration when it crosses your path. (Read more on The Paradox of Inspiration.)

MYTH #7: You can teach people to become more creative.
REALITY: You can ONLY teach people how to harness their inherent creativity AND create an environment that fosters creativity. (To create that environment, check this out.)

MYTH #8: Creativity is a skill.
REALITY: Creativity is a skill AND an attitude AND a lifestyle AND a thought process AND a way of being.

MYTH #9: Creativity is about getting your “one big idea.”
REALITY: Creativity is about constantly having lots of ideas, big and small; good and bad.

MYTH #10: Creativity is something you apply to your work.
REALITY: Creativity is something you apply to EVERYTHING, as it is a way of approaching and encountering the world.

MYTH #11: Creativity is about thinking.
REALITY: Creativity is about thinking AND listening AND observing AND watching AND surrendering AND noticing patterns AND combining AND asking AND plucking AND scanning AND receiving.

MYTH #12: Creativity is something you control.
REALITY: Creativity is something that you received from a higher power because you selflessly listened and surrendered to it.

MYTH #13: Creativity comes from chaotic, unstructured, non-linear thinking.
REALITY: Creativity comes from chaotic, unstructured, non-linear thinking COMBINED with small touches of occasional structure.

MYTH #14: Creativity is something you just turn on when needed.
REALITY: Creativity is a muscle that gets stronger with increased use and must be practiced as a daily non-negotiable that is as regular and normal as breathing.

MYTH #15: Creativity is about completing specific pieces.
REALITY: Creativity is about contributing to a lifelong body of work. (To see some HOT bodies – of work, that is – read this.)

MYTH #16: Creativity is about coming up with lots of ideas all the time.
REALITY: Creativity is about maintaining a healthy balance between idea creation AND idea judgment.

MYTH #17: Creativity is about making something nobody else has ever made.
REALITY: Creativity is about giving people new eyes, not new landscapes.

MYTH #18: The purpose of creativity is to make stuff.
REALITY: The purpose is to grow your soul.

What’s holding YOUR Inner Artist hostage?

For a list called “The 10 Best Books on Creativity You’ve Never Heard Of,” send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I’ll gladly motivate your melon 😉

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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37 Things (Not) to Do This Year

1. Don’t accuse, inform.

2. Don’t exist, live.

3. Don’t hear, listen.

4. Don’t hype. Appear.

5. Don’t inform, form.

6. Don’t jump, pause.

7. Don’t listen, understand.

8. Don’t look, observe.

9. Don’t memorize, prepare.

10. Don’t perform, satisfy.

11. Don’t read, observe.

12. Don’t sell, solve.

13. Don’t solve, dissolve.

14. Don’t talk, do.

15. Don’t think, react.

16. Don’t think, reflect.

17. Don’t touch, feel.

18. Don’t write, transmit.

19. Don’t advertise your importance.

20. Don’t be a flat person.

21. Don’t be typecast.

22. Don’t say you don’t know.

23. Don’t cheap out on design.

24. Don’t (over) actively listen.

27. Don’t get right down to business.

28. Don’t overuse techniques.

25. Don’t ask too many questions.

26. Don’t use assumptive, vague language.

29. Don’t force familiarity.

30. Don’t be so goal oriented..

31. Don’t criticize imperfections.

32. Don’t memorize your speech, prepare your speech.

33. Don’t proofread thoughts.

34. Don’t unload everything.

35. Don’t let them catch you acting.

36. Don’t count on your audience to connect the dots.

37. Don’t do things FOR anyone or anything. Just do them.

What do you encourage people (not) to do?

Share your Top Five Best Pieces of Counterintuitive Wisdom here!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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