Updated: Sep 2, 2022
Throughout the course of my life, I’ve been impelled to create things. This drive is so inborn in me, I consider it a bottom-rung need on my personal Maslow’s pyramid. I need food, I need water, I need shelter, I need to create something. If I don’t, I find myself anxious and depressed. In fact, I have ignored my other basic needs many times because my creative drive drives harder than them all. My idea of absolute freedom is having the ability to shut out all other obligations and allow that creative drive to have its way with me without interruption. I have gone days without sleep, without eating, without even getting up to go to the bathroom, because I was in a creative fury. Healthy? Maybe not. But when that drive takes hold of me to that level, I feel compelled to submit to it completely. I usually arrive on the other side fatigued and a little thinner (sometimes with a UTI), but with a product in which I take much satisfaction, and definitely having learned something.
Maslow's pyramid on Wikipedia. Due to the volume of my creative output, I have been told many times in my life, ’You’re so creative! I wish I could be like that!’ Psst. Come closer. If no one has ever told you this, I’m here to… YOU ARE. You are inherently creative because you’re human. I believe we are all born with that same creative drive I have, and we just channel it in different ways. As support for my thesis, I submit to you the objective fact that we, as homo sapiens, are biological beings (though some of us, like Andy Warhol and yours truly, would prefer to be machines; it’s cleaner). As biological beings, we are driven by a number of biological motives; hunger, thirst, elimination of waste, need for oxygen. Procreation is one of these basic biological motivators. By definition, the sex drive is a creative one. What is orgasm if not an expression of creative satisfaction? The biological imperative demands we create. It rewards us with satisfaction when we do. Fortunately, we can ignore that imperative if we so choose, and channel that energy into other endeavors. The point is, we are, unquestionably, a creative species. Unlike every other species on earth (except for, perhaps, crows), we can use our inborn creativity to solve problems and express ourselves. Creativity isn’t about talent. It’s about biology.
We are inherently creative. YOU are inherently creative. I believe creative satisfaction builds confidence, and confidence is one of the keys to a healthy, successful life (UTIs notwithstanding). What confidence can we feel if we accept our true nature as creative beings? What problems can we solve if we start to feel that satisfaction in even the smallest creative acts, and channel that satisfaction into our daily lives? I’ll bet you are more creative in your daily life than you give yourself credit for being. Thinking about your day, how creative were you in finding a way to get those kids you created to brush their teeth this morning? What did you create to answer your boss’s call for data on that account analysis? What did you create for dinner last night? What did you create by destroying something else? Space in your closet? How did you feel afterward? Can you take some small satisfaction in these acts of creativity and build on that? Can you find in them some seed of confidence that you are a creative individual, and begin to look at every aspect of your daily life as impetus to make a creative choice? Can you trust your inherent creativity to solve another problem today? To express something you may have been afraid to express yesterday? Try it. Get back to me.