Creativity is not an event. It is a process
When crafting or creating something from scratch we usually feel empowered, like being a part of a “flow”. Brain can think in more random ways, connect unrelated things and come up with creative ideas which we would never think about during the routine. Artists and designers seem to engage in this process continuously and keep amaze people from analytics department. But were they born like that or world-famous creators know some big secret about creativity? James Clear, author of “Atomic Habits”, poses the same question in one of his blogs: “Is this a skill (creativity) that we are born with or one that we develop through practice?”
James Clear was not the first one who wonders whether creativity can be taught. Scientific research such as work done by Weiping Hu, Baojun Wu, Xiaojuan Jia, Xinfa Yi, Chunyan Duan, Winter Meyer, James C. Kaufman proves that people can actually become creative thinkers.
“After one and a half years of the intervention, the whole scientific creativity score of the experimental group was significantly higher than the control group”
During the study, experimental group was taking a course aimed to develop critical and creative thinking. Both groups were tested and as you can read from the quote, one group eventually became better.
This is not the only research that proves creativity is more of a skill than in-born talent. The other example would be a book “Idea creation” by Ya-Hui Su. That is how creativity is described there:
“Being creative, the learner, instead of simply habitually conforming to pre‐given patterns or rules, is expected to look at and be attentive to the whole complex and changing situation, so as to sense what thought is appropriate and what action is relevant to the whole”
Author gives a broad definition, but the main point is that changing the way you think can make you more creative.
Now the logical question will be – how did these people develop their creativity? Few things that can help to are questioning, writing and learning. Asking why this is happening or why it is not broadens your internal “borders” so you can see the situation from a different perspective. Writing organises thoughts and learning provides knowledge. It does not matter what exactly you do, as long as you gain new skills and discover something new.