I was having a conversation with a friend of mine the other day and the topic turned to creativity.

I was telling him about the fact that I’m working on a new book, and the effort it’s going to take to get it done. I was also telling him how excited I was because it was going to challenge me creatively to get my thoughts out in a way that’s entertaining, educating and motivating.

His reply was something that I’ve heard from numerous people and it’s time for me to put an end to it.

His response was “I’m just not creative enough to do something like that.”

I literally get enraged by this comment, and I’ll tell you why.

Creativity is something that you spend time working on. It’s something that you put effort into. It’s not something that you just “are.”

Those who you might have found naturally creative are those that have been working that creativity “muscle” for years.

I’m one of those people.

I spend countless hours thinking about how I can turn a thought into an entire post, put enough emotion into it to get the point across and motivate you enough to take some kind of action.

It takes effort, it doesn’t just come to me. Or any writer, painter, programmer or producer for that matter.

If it were as simple as flipping it on like a light switch, and being able to permanently be creative, then nobody would go through dry spells.

I know I’ve had mine.

I’ve had countless times that I wanted to create something of value, but couldn’t get my brain to come up with anything at all. It’s frustrating, but that’s part of the process.

Here’s the major lesson I’ve learned and the one I want to pass on to you:

You have to create something first before you can improve it.

Most people won’t take the time to create that initial something in the first place. They don’t want the bad feeling of not liking what they create.

What most don’t understand is, there’s a number of things that every creator has come up with, that never see the light of day. Most of them being the first version of whatever it was they came up with. And the second version. Maybe even the third.

Do you think a song like “Stairway to Heaven” just came out in one shot? Hell no.

That song went through multiple different versions before it became the finished product you hear on the album.

And let me ask you this… Have you heard any of the initial versions? No.

Does anyone have to see what your trial creation looks or sounds like? No. That’s for you. It’s for you to see what you’re working with.

Naturally, over time your initial creations will get better because you’ll understand what you’re looking for. You’ll have a better idea of what you’re trying to accomplish.

The people you talk to who come up with ideas that inspire and amaze you have been working on ideas similar to that for years before that moment.

So, here’s my challenge to you…

Go and create something. I don’t care what it is. Just create something.

A song, an article, a painting, a drawing, whatever it is that tickles your fancy.

Once you get that initial piece out of you, you can then start to improve it.

Then once you improve it, mull it over, and improve it some more.

Then you can share it with someone, and smile when someone says to you

“I’m just not creative enough to do something like that”

 

Entertain. Educate. Motivate.

-JD

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