Can You Learn Creativity?


I’ve recently joined an online learning platform to improve my skills in marketing. There are thousands of courses, you can learn anything from Photoshop, to writing, to fine art or leadership and public speaking. It got me thinking, many of these areas of expertise do require a lot of skill and there are a plethora of technicalities involved with each craft that an definitely help in getting started. There was one thought nagging at the back of my brain though. It was a question, and I was truly perplexed that I didn’t have the answer. With all this wonderful instruction, these fantastic supportive platforms, my main question was, can you learn creativity?


As someone who has been writing for thirty-four years, I know from my own experience that my writing has definitely improved over time. I’ve learned things about storytelling that has helped my writing immensely, and I’ve also been given some quite damaging instruction as well. But the one thing nobody has ever been able to teach me is that magic that happens when you sit in front of the computer and everything just pours our of you. Those moments where you’re not sure where its all coming from, like you’re a conduit for something vaster that your own tiny existence. That elation that takes over when the story is literally humming behind your eyeballs, almost bleeding onto the page before you. How do you teach that?


I’ve heard people say, you can do anything you put your mind to, and that is likely correct. But will you do it well? I am by no means saying to anyone they shouldn’t have a go at being creative, far from it. I just wondered, in all the long, short and tertiary courses there are for writing, is that SPARK ever addressed? Is it something that’s acknowledged? I am a firm believer that everyone has a story to tell (or five or ten!) but writing is not for everyone. Sometimes its due to being time poor or being physically unable. But there is more than one way to tell a story.


So, while I agree there is much value in teaching techniques and skills that can improve your artistic endeavours, I’m not so sure that the entirety of the craft can be learned. There’s a little bit of fairy dust that gets sprinkled around and we all use it in our own ways. Its what makes our works unique, it’s what makes our voices louder and speaks to our truth.


I’d love to know your thoughts on this! Please leave a comment or send me a message!

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