I haven’t written a Daily Zen since February 28, 2014, and haven’t written any post on here since May 13, 2014. I’ve gotten a few people tweet at me as to what happened and why I stopped posting. I had been pretty consistently posting on VintageZen for about a year, but after that time it started to become a chore. I felt I was running out of ideas and getting tired of the “Apple tech scene.” So I put it on hiatus, but kept the possibility I could always come back to it some day, even if that meant continuing to pay Squarespace every month. Anyway, I’m not coming back regularly right now, but still thought I’d throw something out in the wide ocean of the internet and hopefully occupy someone’s mind for a few minutes. Let us begin.
Everywhere I see blog posts and books and podcasts about “how to be more creative.” This is big business and many people make their living teaching you all the ways you can be more creative and tap that creative potential that’s waiting to burst out from inside you. What exactly they mean by creativity is usually very ambiguous and can encompasses all kinds of things, from actually making truly unique works of art, to simply being more productive with your time.
Everything about this is bullshit.
Creativity isn’t something that can be taught. It’s not the same as teaching someone to be more productive, it’s different. I see creativity as actually thinking differently about the ways things are done, and creating new and unique ways to do those things. This is something creative people do naturally and I don’t think you can teach it. Picasso didn’t read a blog post on creativity and suddenly realize he should be painting more abstractly. James Joyce didn’t take a 10 day seminar on creativity before writing Ulysses. These people simply created things because they were creative. It wasn’t something they learned, it was something they did.
Yet people eat up these “how to be creative” articles and books and think they will suddenly be able to see the world differently and be super creative. But instead of making them creative, they simply start obsessing over theories of creativity and completely forget about actually doing creative things. It becomes a masturbatory act instead of something they do outside themselves. They start to actually think that because they read a blog post about creativity, they actually were creative that day. Usually these types of people are some of the least creative people you will meet.
Creativity is simple and being creative can be broken down into a single step:
If you want to be creative, just fucking BE CREATIVE!
Old Painting of the Day: The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. Obviously a masterpiece. I saw it in person at the MOMA in New York City a few years ago. I’d highly recommend you do the same.
If you vehemently disagree with this post, please tweet me about it and start a roaring Twitter debate. Thank you!