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Thursday, July 30, 2009


www.dictionary.com defines “creativity” as such:
“The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination: the need for creativity in modern industry; creativity in the performing arts.”
I’ve taken classes from an actress who has a unique way of tackling a script. When she’s given her lines, she goes through them one by one and marks every word that interests her, that she’s unfamiliar with, or that seems important. Then she takes the first word she marked and looks it up in four or five dictionaries—starting with a modern dictionary, and working her way back until she’s using an old English dictionary. She methodically finds every possible definition for the word in question, and looks at how each different definition might affect her reading. She does this for every word she’s marked—it’s her way of finding complex, intricate layers in the language of the script.
I can’t claim that I looked up the word “creativity” in five different dictionaries, but I did search around a little bit, and this was by far my favorite definition. There’s a lot going on in just those few little sentences.
“The ability to transcend traditional ideas” is a good beginning. Looking past the “norm” of the world around us isn’t creativity in it of itself, but it’s certainly the first step. Living by the guidelines that society (and tradition) have set up for us can be difficult enough without the added challenge of seeing around those guidelines. I also love the word “transcend.” I mean, come on, that’s just a rockin’ awesome word.
But the second part of that sentence is the meat of this definition: “to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.” This is what creativity is all about—creating a story out of nothing but your own thoughts; weaving an image on a canvas that, before, was nothing but a white blank; strumming a chord on a guitar and choosing words to accompany it. Creating something out of nothing, something that needs to be shared with the world.
And the word “meaningful” jumps out at us, too. Creativity doesn’t have to mean taking on the Big Questions, or the current issue of the moment. Creativity doesn’t have to leave the audience with tears in their eyes, or walking away murmuring, “That was so powerful.” What creativity does have to be is personal. Maybe you’re writing a story about bananas that go to the moon, but if that’s what means something to you, it’s creative. And maybe you do tackle Big Questions, but that’s because they mean something to you. Creativity has to be meaningful—not necessarily to the intended audience (if there is one), but to the creator.
Which brings me to this blog.
I’m a seventeen-year-old who is growing up in the Midwest of America. I’m an aspiring actress/teacher/author who spends a lot of time in community theaters, in my room writing fantasy stories, and making up silly games based on tv shows with my little brother. All three are equally important to me—all three are ways that I am creative. I also spend some time making animated music videos and playing the cello—these are also ways that I express myself.
How are you creative? I can’t begin to imagine. There are a multitude of ways to be creative. Maybe you write music, or dance, or make programs to teach people how to do their job. Maybe you’re creative in ways I’m not even aware exist. However you express yourself, I’d love to hear about it.
So I’m bringing my story to the web. I’m going to express myself in a new way: by writing daily (or as often as I can) updates about what I’m doing to express my imagination. When I audition for a show or get a part in a play, I’ll write about that. When I’m working on a new story or a new music video, I’ll share that with you, too. I might interview people I know who express themselves in unique ways, or review shows, books, songs, etc. that I’ve seen/read/heard. Maybe sometime I’ll write about going vintage clothes shopping with my aunt, because that’s a way that I express myself, too, believe it or not. :P
But the point is, I want this to work both ways. The fun of a blog, I think, is that it’s an open communication. You can read my story, but I can also read yours. Share your blog links here, share your stories, share yourselves. This is all about creativity, and I want to know how other people pursue it.
So to conclude this inaugural post, welcome one and all, and I hope to hear from you soon. :)