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Take a creative leap, and oh, the places you'll go

By Rob DeWitt
Published September 5, 2006


The power of creativity is unimaginable. Every piece of the advancement of human history owes itself to the creative spirit, whether that moment of inspired creation was sparked by emergency, necessity or need for expression: the need to paint a Renaissance woman's unexplainable-in-words smile, for example, or the simple desire for something pretty from which to drink.

Fostering that in ourselves and in future generations is the key to the advancement of our species. It is the key to understanding one another, for creativity has no boundaries. It happens in every individual during every lifetime. Everyone gets creative inspiration; not everyone acts on it.

In today's world of media overexposure, most tend to forget that every fictional story, every media image, every graphic on the news and in print media, every spoken word or note of music, began as someone's creative spirit. Every utensil, item of clothing, and piece of mundane packaging that you toss in the trash. Every flier you dispose of or box you open. Every sheet you sleep on, floor you walk over and convenience or entertainment you enjoy, including sports.

This spark of inspiration became fully realized only when the individual was able to do the work necessary. Work and faith, as well as a strong sense of self and great marketing, allow individuals to reach the level to make the vision possible. Every vision has an author. Every author has had some support from somewhere, psychologically, financially or spiritually. It is their "rock."

Everyone can develop creative ideas. When you try, you may not succeed, but persevere and you'll get better at whatever it is. Have patience with yourself; that is part of the lesson creativity teaches us.

There are many ways to express your creativity. There also are many ways to support it. And, living in a free country, you had better relish it and act on it. Paint - a wall or a teacup. Dig a pond or plant a bulb. Create a new recipe or make some chili. Just create. You'll get good at it with practice, and you never know where it might take you. Yes, "overnight celebrities" seem overdone, but they've worked their heinies off to get to where they are. Don't bash Britney Spears until you've worked her schedule. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's script for Good Will Hunting didn't really fall from the ceiling, but it did win an Oscar. Have the pundits?

To stay in the game, you have to keep creating. And learning. And finishing what you start, which usually is the problem. That's borne from fear, and it also is when your rock becomes your island.

From the way you decorate your home to the way you dress, you are able to express your creativity. Even men (whose creativity in the past 20 years was mostly relegated to automobile purchases, media device installations, landscaping and face-painting for football games) are getting into the act. That home-fix-it-guy on the sitcom - now he was macho creative.

Creative solutions have prevented wars, rescued babies and saved lives. When creative solutions that go beyond the status quo are flatly refused, the opposite happens.

Creating extremely advanced varieties of scenarios and projecting these scenarios into the far future can prevent disaster on many levels.

Yet our systems of training our young have forced creativity to be nourished early at home, but time-crunched parents or caregivers are busy paying for their bank charges, insurance, medicine and gadgets. So, the demand for creativity and outlets for such will become a necessity, not an item easily removed from the budget. Or so one would imagine.

Although not financially successful yet, I continue to create, and try to encourage others. I am fortunate to have a great deal of support in all ways possible, which makes the ability to create easier than if I had a family to support. All creative people have at least one friend or family member who act as their rock. Sometimes we slip off, but they never move. These rocks are the key to creative success. If you are someone's rock, don't roll away. Don't let them slip into the abyss.

Individuals in the throes of creativity will madden, frustrate and annoy you, but they also will be the happiest they have ever been when they are free to create. Be there to share their successes, no matter the size. The feeling is worth it.

For the creative, build yourself an island of rocks by not judging and by taking the time to find where that rock can fit to create an even stronger, more solid foundation.

Patience.

Sometimes you don't have to paint the Mona Lisa. A teacup can be just as beautiful and successful.

Rob DeWitt is a freelance writer, theater artist and generally creative type who has been producing, writing and performing theater for more than 15 years in his native Brooksville and Chicago. Guest columnists write their own opinions on subjects they choose, which do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.

[Last modified September 4, 2006, 20:20:16]


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