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.
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?