Create. Creating. Creativity. What does it all mean, and why do we do it?
In the first chapter of my new book “21 Reasons Why Creativity is Like Sex”, I theorized that because we are taught from the earliest of ages that “creating” something was nothing short of a sacred act, we spend our lives in eternal pursuit of creation.
We incessantly try to manifest ideas into existence, make new spaces from voids, make new life from nothingness. We feel the urge to grow companies, families, collections, friends, bank accounts. We are literally hardwired to create… and when we feel stuck in “anti-creation”, it rocks us to the core. Tweet this
Don’t believe me? It’s in the first sentence in the Bible. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Now, I’m not a super religious person, but when one of the most, if not the most, globally respected and referenced texts starts out telling us that our supposed Creator, created the Universe – something pretty important to our existence – it’s going to make a mark on our psyches somehow that creating is kind of a big deal. #Godmicdrop If God created the heavens and the earth, good luck regular people keeping up with that accomplishment! #wereallscrewed #Ablogpostwillhavetodotoday
After reading this chapter, my friend Charlie Oliver asked this interesting question:
What about rewards for doing it? Where does our desire for being rewarded for our creativity fit in here?
This got me curious. Are we inspired to create because it’s in our DNA? Or is it because of the reward of accomplishment we feel when we achieve it?
In his 1972 Oscar acceptance speech, Charlie Chaplin said, “I went into the business for money and the art grew out of it. If people are disillusioned by that remark, I can’t help it. It’s the truth.”
Mark McGuinness, a poet and creative coach, references Chaplin in his comparing reward versus creating purely out of a love and drive to create. “It’s as though art and business are parallel rails in any creative career. Both are essential for success and leaning on one at the expense of the other can be disastrous. Lean too far towards the rewards and you become a hack, churning out mediocre work to pay the bills; neglect the money side of things and life becomes too stressful to focus on your work properly.”
This is why creativity and psychosis evoke the same chemistry in the brain. #weareallscrewedagain
It’s a balancing act of the most maddening, wonderful, kind. #TWSS
To grab your own copy of “21 Reasons Creativity is Like Sex”, click here.