“I’m not creative. I don’t have a creative gene in my body. My DNA came without one.” Right!
That’s the kind of comment you might get from a student in his sophomore year and who’s the college quarterback. He has an essay to write and he’s stuck.
Creativity takes so many forms. But it’s also transferable. Our quarterback may have forgotten that. In fact, so many of us believe we can’t think creatively in developing an essay on whatever the topic, yet we can figure out how to fake a throw to a wide receiver while shifting the ball to someone completed unmarked, and score a touchdown. Isn’t that creativity?
Or figure out a way to make an effective protest about rising tuition to a college administration?
When you have to come up with an answer, our minds are extraordinarily flexible. And that’s something many students have to remember in writing an essay. You first put the mind in gear by posing the question at hand, and then shift it into first, reverse or four-wheel drive. That’s when things start to percolate, when ideas have a habit of breaking through.
Where do you drive, what direction? It’s amazing what unique environments will do. Go to the beach, to a quiet garden, a noisy restaurant, to a different library. That environment in itself can generate ideas, possibilities you had not considered. Bright sun, rain, frost and snow all present possibilities that can impact that essay topic. So can the clothes you wear – casual, formal, rain gear.
As readers will know, I like to use Mind Maps to get my ideas down on any subject with which I’m working. You can too. Sometimes that can be annoying because it can lead you into a direction that you had not expected or ever considered. But that in turn is magical, because now you’re curious, wondering where it will lead, wondering if and how it will reshape your original thesis with unexpected or “wrong” conclusions.
That’s creativity. It’s throwing options your way, opening avenues yet to be explored. And regardless whether you’re a football player, a pianist, a games player, whatever – you are creative. All you have to do is flex that mind of yours, and watch what happens.