Creativity is the new norm

This past summer, this story ran on Buffer about creativity. The author gave 17 examples of things he wished he knew about the topic when he was in his 20s. I spend a good deal of time thinking about creativity. Somewhere, somehow, I became one of those people obsessed with the notion that you have to be creative in life.

My attitude has always been: If you can’t be creative, then what are you? It may sound judgmental, but I have a broad view of creativity. You don’t have to be a writer, or artist or actor to be creative. An actor friend once complained to me that she was interviewing for a marketing position and the interviewer described marketers as creative, which she scoffed at. I was like, “hey, but I’m a marketer,” and there it was: I could see it in her eyes. To her, a marketer is not creative, despite the fact that we create content and ideas—and then creatively put those ideas into action.

Anyone born before computers probably knows this: there is a schism these days between traditional creatives (i.e., artists) and the rest of the world. It used to be there were creative types and then normal types. Today, we are all writers or artists, thanks to our computers. We are all entertainers, thanks to social media. When I look at my friends who are in their 40s and 50s, I can see how they’ve changed their world view in the last ten or fifteen years, and it’s because they are more creative (and older, yes). Computers started the spark; the ensuing wired revolution spread the fire.

I got wired pretty early on, long before many of my friends. Even up to a few years ago, I had people asking me, “So this Facebook thing, why should I do it?” They now do it, and Instagram, Twitter, etc, with ease and proficiency. And I’m noticing they are getting more and more creative in their posts.

We are all photographers, videographers and writers, and yes, many are novices and probably not that good. But they are doing it–engaging, publishing their private thoughts, though we may sometimes squirm reading the words. It’s a squirm that the world needed. It tells us we are evolving and creativity is the norm. It’s a creative world we live in—whether we show our creativity in posting a funny update, a silly photo or of our dog, or something insanely private that makes us squirm.

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