Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How to unleash creativity?

How often I would say this to myself – creative minds think out of the box. No doubt they do. But this thought itself brought doom to my creativity. I would pull all my hair just to get one idea that would bring this world into a standstill. And How I Failed!

Over the years, I grew cynical and restricted all my thoughts as just another gimmick. I blamed myself for not being creative, and I lampooned myself for not being good enough. And it meant even gloomier prospect. These thoughts made me from a wanna-be creative person to an utterly disgraced unproductive person.

Now, these thoughts were my own, and no one would ever bat an eyelid for it. I mean, by no chance I am a great thinker or have the ability to write even close to what is being considered good. And yet, these thought kept haunting me. The very thought of being called ‘a creative person’ excited me so much that it smothered all my creativity (if there’s any).
When people asked me to “just be creative”, I hated them because in the hearts of my heart, I knew I was fooling myself. The word creative meant I would rack my brains out, and agonizingly watch it die. It became synonymous to my never ending pain. My creativity became a substitute for my fear, and my frustration of not being creative became my fascination. My creativity became my apocalypse .And, in the process of achieving it I lost myself.

One day I realized, I looked at the wrong things. I was looking at something which is either never, or always with you. If truth be told, I wasn’t looking for creativity; I was looking for success and admiration. Creative minds are always in present, and I was far from it. I always thought in future as to what people would say when they read my story. Will they like it, or hate it, or consider it as another piece of crap? So, my focus was not in the process but in the result.

This realization brought new angles to my thinking. The thinking of let go. Because creativity is about freedom, and freedom is now or never.

This line by Rabindra Nath Tagore expresses it the best:

“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; ... My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said `Here art thou!' ...

How about you? What drives your creativity? What all are your fears? And what situation unleashes your creativity the most?

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