Defining Creativity

What is creativity and what does it mean for me

Creativity seems to mean different things to different people and thanks to a bad teacher I had at school, any spark of creativity I had was extinguished. At that point (I’d have been about 12) I was left feeling I’m not artistic (my memory is being told I’d be as well giving up trying to draw/create objects etc as I was rubbish. i remember making a hand in clay that I was focsed on, the teacher just smashed my creation – flattening it with his fist. I guess probably like many others who became educators, the examples of both good and bad teachers have shaped the teacher I am today and I hope I never extinguish the hopes and dreams of my students.

Image by Henryk Niestrój from Pixabay

That one teacher killed what I thought of as my creativity and for a very long time (until I was in my 40s) I would describe myself as unimaginitive and uncreative.

It took me attending a staff development session on creativity to come to the realisation that creativity comes in all shapes and sizes and its not limited to being able to paint, draw, sculpt etc.

Even after that training session it has taken a while for me to recognise and acccept the creativity others see – I am a writer – not an author – I was going to say not published, but my blog posts and my YouTube videos are, I guess, published.

Its strange now to reflect and think back to my first or second year at High School when that teacher was so nasty – I did have another teacher, my English teacher, who encouraged my interest in and enthusiasm for writing – I was always writing stories – I would fill jotters with my writing. It seems ironic now when I look back that despite my obsession for writing, I didn’t see myself as creative.

I can’t even remember a time I didn’t write. I was a navy brat and my mum would encourage us (me and my younger sister) to write to our grandmother. 50 years later and I still love writing (and receiving) letters. I’d prefer to sit down with a nice pen and fancy paper to write a letter rather than send an email despite the fact that it could take me 2 days to write a letter. I remember once starting a letter at 8am and finishing it at about 4.30 pm. My paternal grandmother often referred to my letters as books.

To some extent my blogs can be seen as an extension of my letter writing – sharing my adventures – but I promise not to bore you with minutae of details (and if I do, please tell me).

So I am creative – I write letters, blogs, course materials for teaching etc but I think there’s still a bit of that young firl who doesn’t have the confidence; doesn’t believe she’s creative. My mum told me, maybe 15 years ago, that she thought I was going to be an author, but that never crossed my mind – I write because I can; I write to keep in touch/to maintain connections with friends; to help my students – but writing a novel? I still can’t see that.

I write because I love writing. I guess I am creative and perhaps I need to explore where it may take me

What about you? What does creativity mean for you?


  1. Hi Brenda,

    I think, we should learn to observe our daily lives, for example, the people and their activities, birds and weather.

    Here you’ll start exploring yourself. They say, “What you seek is seeking you”. Understand your response to the things.

    It should be positive. You’re not going to hate anyone, “neither accept” their hate or bad words (if they’re not constructive).

    At the age of 11, a newly appointed young art teacher was introduced to our class. She’s sweet, and encouraged everyone to a common object in their own way.

    Our school’s art room was not well managed. Next year our art teacher changed. He did not care about us.

    However, this newly appointed young teacher had a great enthusiasm. I did draw two a bunch of two beautiful flowers.

    I do agree, not all the teachers are good or similar. However, our learning should not be blocked by a bad response, event or whatever.

    Thank you for sharing the post.
    Have a great day ahead.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your insights. I’m glad you had an inspirational teacher. It does make such a difference.

  2. Hi Brenda, it saddens me when I hear about teachers who didn’t encourage their students and the effect that it’s had, even right through to adulthood. I think you have a wonderful writing style and you’re right that this is an element of creativity. For a long time, I believed I was terrible at art but, with practise, I’m improving my skills and sometimes I’m really impressed with what I achieve.

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  3. I also had a kind of the same experience when I was a child. Each time I tried to sing I was told I could not sing well, or my voice was not good enough. The same with drawing. But later in life I learned that being creative also means being able to solve problems or having innovative ideas. Now I define myself as a creative person. I think that sometimes we make confusion between being creative and being an artist. Thank you for the interesting insight Brenda!

    • Thank you for reading and taking the time to write Crisbiecoach. You’re right, we need to embrace our creativity

  4. Yes, you are creative. We are all creative in our own different ways. I was an art major in college, and I never could figure out how a professor could (judge) grade someone else’s artwork. Great post!

    • Thank you Mike and Kellye for reading. I know what you mean about judging/grading work – I’ve been doing that for 20 years now. I guess from an academic perspective we have a set of criteria we are assessing against – for me its much easier – how well is their work written, how well have they interpretted the information/theories? Are they applying their knowledge? Are they showing innovation and creativity – that’s the one that gets me – judging someone else’s interpretation and deciding if its creative – but as I say, easier when examining management theory

  5. It is interesting to hear about others experiences. I was always a creative child, always drawing, colouring and enjoyed stationery shopping. Thank you for sharing your insight.

  6. I believe that creativity lies in everything, from coming up with business solutions to designing a workout programme for yourself. We’re all creative for sure, just in different fields. But I believe we need a certain amount of competence in an area before we can truly be creative. Anyway, yes, you’re definitely creative, Brenda!

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