6 Keys to Creativity (Revisited)

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I think it time to revisit my 6 keys to creativity.

I have studied creativity for several years (okay, okay, close to 20 or more) and I have used that to develop those keys. Some of these are influenced by reading works by Julia Cameron, Twyla Tharp, Eric Maisel, and others. The end result is something that I believe helps those who read them.

Meaning you.

I’ve discussed these keys on the blog in the past, but it has been a while. It could do with a refresher. Here is a quick listing and then we’ll look at each one.

6 keys to creativity

  1. Everyone is creative.
  2. Creativity does not discrimination/
  3. People don’t know how to tap into their creativity.
  4. People use their creativity without knowing 
  5. Only you can say you can’t.
  6. Have another creative outlet. 

1. Everyone is creative.

Creativity does. not belong just to a certain group of people. It doesn’t matter if you paint or draw or write or sing or not. If you don’t do any of those things, you don’t get to say you aren’t creative. 

Not if I’m around.

You do other things that are creative. You cook. You play games with your kids. You create lesson plans for your students. You garden.

You see where I’m going with this?

2. Creativity does not discriminate.

One of the most common excuses I hear is that someone thinks they are too old to be creative. Then there are people who think some things are more slanted to men or women. As an example, woodworking is for men and knitting/crochet is for women.

Let me just say that I have seen some wonderful female woodworkers and male knitters/crochet ears.

In that same vein, a common thought is that knitting and crochet are the realm of “grannies.” But it’s not. There are a lot of younger people who knit and crochet.

So the idea that creativity discriminates is bunk.

3. People don’t know how to tap into their creativity.

Sometimes I think this should be promoted to the first key, but I think it’s more important to emphasize that everyone is creative first.

When we are kids, our creativity and imagination are high. When we go to school, we learn to hide it, to squash it. We learn that it’s “bad” to be creative and “good” to be a good student. I’m not saying being a good student is bad. I’m saying that being creative and being a good student are not mutually exclusive. We can be both.

The effect of the emphasis on school is that we forget how to be creative. We forget how to access our creativity. 

And that is why so many people say they aren’t creative.

4. People use their creativity without knowing 

This is a result of forgetting how to access our creativity. But, in my opinion, the creativity builds and has to have a way out. We cook, we play games, we dance, we sing. We do things that are “fun,” but we don’t think it’s creative.

But it is.

It might not be something we do often, but often enough that it helps release some built-up pressure that we call stress.

And that is just one of the reasons why we should learn how to tap into our creativity on a more regular basis.

5. Only you can say you can’t.

When we were younger, we had to frequently ask for permission before we did something. Someone else, a parent or teacher most often, would say if we could or couldn’t do whatever it was.


Now only you can say whether you can or can’t do something. You are in charge of your own destiny, so to speak. You can give yourself permission to be creative, to do something new. If you need it, I have a permission slip you can print and sign. If you do, put it somewhere you will see it frequently until you believe it. (I’ve talked about the permission slip before.)

Permission slip to be creative

6. Have another creative outlet. 

Having something else you enjoy helps you avoid burnout. Going in all-or-nothing on something has its place, but it can lead to burnoutOut Burnout can lead to stress, blocks, possible depression, and more. (Yes, I realize I said “burnout” several times in one short paragraph.)

My primary outlet is writing, but I also crochet. I often alternate between the two to keep from burning out on either one of them. It helps and I recommend it for anyone else, too.

Where are you stuck?

Out of these six keys to creativity, where are you stuck? Which one keeps you from your creativity? Leave a comment and let me know.

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