Friday, December 17, 2010

The Creative Process

The Creative Process is not one size fits all.  I remember writing a paper in middle school.  My desk blotter was my outline, my notes, everything but the final piece. My teacher reduced my grade because I couldn’t show him a “proper” outline.  As if that was the ONLY way one could properly draft a paper.
After this - I tried to make my creative writing process fit with his - years later - I was still trying to come up with an outline.  And since my brain just honestly does not think that way, I started using colored notecards, that I could then arrange into thoughts - and then type up the stupid outline required for professor or teacher.   Because they didn’t get how my brain worked, they wanted me to create in the way their brain functioned best. 
For years - and years - this is what I did.  Tried to smoosh my creative, right-sided thinking into left-sided school and business worlds.  And it worked.  Scarily well, actually.  I had everyone thinking I was just like them, amazingly left brained.  When in fact I was the opposite.  And it was exhausting.  All to get that little star on my paper, or the top rating on my corporate reviews. 
Now, maybe my life is a little messier.  But it is a lot less exhausting - because I finally allow myself to just be.  To create (writing, drawing, painting, photography) all how my brain works.  And I hope that when I teach, I allow each student to do their own thing.  And to not conform to what I do - because there is no one way to creativity.
I think one of the things I have learned on this creative journey is that in the creative process there is no one right answer.  Period. 
So ironically, the only time in the creative process where the answer one size fits all is this truth: THERE IS NO ONE WAY.  The paths to creative development and creation are many and varied and each should find their own way.  Trying out of a few paths for size along the way, and creating a process that works well for him or her. 
Has anyone else found this to be true for them?