There is a perception that some people are more creative than other people. That some people are born to be artists and some aren’t. I don’t believe that is true.
Yes, there is an element of talent and self selection to any creative pursuit. Some gravitate toward a certain kind of activity than others.
Yet, the most impressive creative output doesn’t come from most gifted.
No, those with the most impressive creative output take the gifts that they have and they create every single day. That builds a habit of creativity that is far more powerful than talent alone. The pursuit of the creation drives creativity.
Creativity As Exploration
When you create you are exploring. You learn the rules. You learn technique. You examine what is possible and what is insane.
A huge part of any creative endeavor is exploring. So much so that once you are working on a project, you can identify others’ work by how far along the path they are.
Inventors can gauge others’ progress not by what they’ve made, but by the hurdles they are currently up against. There are problems and issues that everyone progresses through.
One way to think of creativity is as an explorer in an uncharted land. There are other explorers also trying to discover the lost city of Atlantis or the golden city of El Dorado. In some cases there is a map. Sometimes there isn’t.
The masters of a craft are those who explored every nook and cranny of the uncharted land. Others marvel at the things the master craftsman has seen and understand.
That’s a remarkable thing.
You Travel By Moving
There is only one way to travel. You move. You start in one place and go to the next. A traveler by nature is someone moving from place to place.
A creative endeavor is about movement. It’s about travel. I don’t mean physical travel. I mean that like a traveler, you don’t sit in one place of contentment. You get up and move. You see what is next, what is possible, what is unseen.
It is no accident that people who really see the world are always on the move. There are too many places to go, too many things to see to stand in one place.
So, you get up, you move, you explore.
It is much the same with creating things. Creators create. They solve problems. They push forward.
Pursuit Is The Technique
In any creative work, there are techniques. People look at techniques as some kind of magic trick to success. A shortcut.
Techniques are no shortcut. Techniques don’t drive success or great work.
A technique will not make you great.
The thing that makes any work amazing is the pursuit of creation. The hustle it takes to go from nothing to something. That is the secret technique everyone is looking for.
If you want to be great at what you create, you have to pursue it.
P.S. I unpack more ideas in Creative Genius