Science seems to accept that everyone has an element of creativity. However, there seem to be links between the spontaneous brain and the evaluative brain, the rational side which asks: will this mega idea work?
This is perhaps where some writers fall down. We all enjoy the spontaneity of creativity, the brainstorming of ideas, the daydreaming and the imagination hard at work.
However, in practice, we need a hard-wired brain which also enables us to focus (rather at odds with daydreaming) thereby also evaluating whether our ideas will work. It is the combination of the two which leads to creative success.
Do some of us have ‘creative personalities?
A psychologist called Csikszentmihalyi (which requires imagination to even say it) highlighted ten skills that creative people have. I rather like his idea of focused energy, the ability to be able to spend hours concentrating on a single thing which holds our attention. Anyone creative has been there, working away on the book, article or item you simply can’t let go of.
The IQ issue is also curious, that reasonably intelligent people of IQ up to 120 may be very creative, but get beyond that and creativity does not grow accordingly. Creativity maybe involves a certain level of naivete, childishness, and zest for life that hyper-intellectualism removes from us.
Another of the ‘skills’ (traits) that appeals to me is when creative people are proud but modest. I know some very competent artists but they do not proclaim their ability at every turn, they do not shout about how great they are, they simply focus on the next idea or project, while taking advantage of opportunities/accepting their own worth. They also realise that there are always better writers or artists out there from whom they can learn.
Most of all, I love the notion that creative people are passionate about their work but also try to be objective:
Creative people don’t just enjoy their work – they dearly and passionately love what they do. But just being passionate about something does not necessarily lead to great work. Imagine a writer so in love with his writing that he is unwilling to edit a single sentence. Imagine a musician reluctant to listen to listen to her own performance and hear areas that need improvement.
Creative people love their work, but they are also objective about it and willing to be critical (and take criticism) of it. They are able to separate themselves from their work and see areas that need work and improvement.
Your creativity is your own, but it is also something separate to you. That’s important.