You’re Completely Uncreative (And The World Is Flat)


Summer Was Gone, Nothing But The Boathouse Remained
image: dancoachcreative

I’m very confident that you’re about to lie to me.

How can I possibly know this when I don’t know you? Because I’m going to ask you how creative you are.

Whatever you answer, I know you’re not going to tell me the truth, the whole truth, because you’re not even fully aware of it yourself.

When you tell me you’re not creative because you haven’t published three novels already this year, or held a national gallery exhibition, or played to a stadium of thousands of screaming fans, yes you’re telling the truth about what you haven’t done.

But in the process you’re tragically and drastically overlooking all the ways you have been creative this year, this month, this week, today.

I’m asking you about your delicious donuts, and you’re telling me all about the holes in the middle.

So if you’re so creative, how is it your not seeing it?

Why don’t you believe you’re a creative person, why don’t you see yourself as a “proper” artist?

A short excursion into history: Once upon a time the greatest minds alive believed the world was flat. Those who sailed, believed that if you sailed far enough in the same direction, you’d disappear off the edge of the Earth.

When you look at the world through the incredibly up close perspective that we do, of course it does look flat, you don’t see the curve. It’s not until you get some distance and some perspective – like going up into orbit – that you see that it’s a sphere.

How completely and utterly wrong those believers in the Earth’s flatness were, and yet how completely and utterly confident they were that their belief was right and the only possible explanation that existed.

Fortunately, you don’t need to hop aboard the next rocket ship to the moon to realise that your belief that you’re completely uncreative is equally as unfounded and false.

But you do need to adjust your perspective.

A while back on our creative community CCS, we had a discussion called The Ultimate Creativity List. We all added ways we felt we (and others) were creative, beyond the obvious and traditional art forms like writing, painting and dancing.

In the end we had dozens, maybe hundreds of different ways of creating, dozens, maybe hundreds of different ways we uniquely express ourselves.

Some examples of creative acts that you might you recognise yourself doing are:

You’re creative in how you dress, (and how you dress others.)

You’re creative in the meals you prepare and cook.

You’re creative in the relationships you’re a part of, that mean so much to you and the others involved in them.

You’re creative in the way you’ve built a home that people feel welcome and comfortable in.

You’re creative in organising and hosting social events, from a meal for two, to a party for 22 or more, and bringing good times and long lasting memories to so many.

You’re creative in how you solve problems at home, and at work.

You’re creative in how your mind is constantly forming new ideas, combinations and associations.

You’re creative in how you bring happiness to others. (Is there a more rewarding act of creativity?)

You’re creative in how you’ve designed and planted your garden.

You’re creative in how you inspire others, just by being you every day.

You’re creative in how you’ve designed and implemented your blog or website.

You’re creative in how you’ve arranged your bookshelves.

You’re creative in how you doodle in long, dull meetings, or while on the phone.

You’re creative in how you bring balance and calm in your life with disciplines like yoga, meditation and walking.

You’re creative in how you sing in the bathroom. Or the kitchen. Or your car. Or anywhere else.

You’re creative in how you organise and run fun days out for friends and family.

You’re creative in how you arrange flowers in your home.

You’re creative in how you’re maintaining a healthy, strong body and mind.

You’re creative in how you find beauty in details and moments that other people completely overlook.

You’re creative in how you offer a space of trust and quiet for others to talk as you listen.

You’re creative in how you choose the right music and the right wine for a wonderful atmosphere.

You’re creative in how you make up games and stories for children (and grown ups!) and make their lives more fun.

You’re creative in the way you limit your friendships and commitments, so those you do connect with have the full technicolour version of you, not just a pale, washed out, tired version of you.

I could go on, but I’m sure you identify with a good many of these examples of creativity, before you even get to what we traditionally label as art…

So, breaking news – the world isn’t flat after all. And you’re one of the most creative people you know.

Stop lying to yourself, start recognising just how creative you are and your creativity will go from strength to strength.


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4 thoughts on “You’re Completely Uncreative (And The World Is Flat)”

  1. Here are two more:
    You are creative when you watch what others are doing and consider other people’s advice but then go instead the way your heart leads you.

    You are creative when you march to the beat of a different drummer or dance your own dance, though sometimes you are swimming against the tide.

    You are creative when you try the new thing instead of the safe thing.


    1. These are great Fritzie. 🙂

      What I see them all as is simply creating your own path through life, one that’s right for you, that follows that inner compass that always (deep down) knows what to do and which direction to head in…


  2. Dan,
    This is a terrific post. I started to skim through all the ways and realized I couldn’t, because they are all on target. So I read them twice. The one that resonated most for me was, “You’re creative in how you offer a space of trust and quiet for others to talk as you listen,” since I’ve been doing that for someone lately. But they’re all great. Here’s a link to some of my thoughts on creativity and the importance of encouraging it:


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