This guest post comes from Melanie Allen of Partners in Fire. Read to the end to find her bio.
I’m not a creative person. I know what you’re thinking – “that’s ridiculous! You’re a writer and Youtuber; you have to be creative to do those things!”
But the truth is, writing and making videos is hard for me. It’s a constant struggle. I’m jealous of those who can think of topics, design videos, and see the perfect thumbnail in their head because that’s not me. But I try because I understand how important it is. Creativity is one of the most important skills you can have.
How Being an Aphant Destroys My Creativity
Creativity is hard for me because I have aphantasia. I have difficulty picturing things in my head. You know how when you read, you see the story play out in your head? When the book turns into a movie, you join others in stating how the main character just isn’t what you pictured? I’ve never had that experience. I don’t see things in my head.
My struggle with Aphantasia means that creativity is challenging for me. I can’t see images or graphics. I can’t “picture” how I want a certain piece of art to look, and I can’t create any works from memory. Because creativity doesn’t come naturally to me, I have to try really hard to be creative. And that’s how I know how important it is.
Creativity is Important in Every Field
A lot of people think that creativity is just important for the arts. Writers, artists, musicians, and the like are often the folks in society credited with being “creatives.” And they do produce amazing pieces of art out of nothing, which is absolutely a creative endeavor.
But what’s not often discussed or celebrated is the creativity needed to succeed in other fields, like business, leadership, teaching, and life in general. The word “creativity” is replaced with “innovation” in these fields, but in reality, they are the same. That does the idea of creating a disservice, and people tend not to consider its importance.
3 Big Reasons Why Creativity is Important
There are many reasons why creativity is important, and each person might have individual reasons that no one else even thought of. But there are three big reasons why creativity is important in every aspect of our lives.
Creativity Helps with Problem Solving
Remember the industry leaders we talked about above? Creativity helps them solve problems. Every business is designed to solve a customer’s problem. Entrepreneurs and leaders find creative solutions to customers’ problems and build huge industries around those solutions.f
An example of this is Uber. Consumers need a way to get from point A to point B. Many can’t afford a car, and taxis are expensive and difficult to book due to the lack of drivers. Uber used creativity to solve this problem. It matched people who have cars and are looking to make some extra money with people who need rides and are willing to pay. An entire industry was born out of creative problem-solving.
Everything we see and use every day was once a problem that a creative person found a way to solve.
But creativity in problem-solving is important at a micro-level as well. Leaders need to find creative ways to motivate their employees in the face of budget cuts. Teachers need to find creative ways to reach their students with diminishing resources. In this day and age, individuals need to find creative ways to make money to support themselves.
Creativity Allows you to Express Yourself
Self-expression is arguably one of the most important aspects of humanity. We aren’t drones, like little ants foraging for the sake of the hive. We are individuals with a vast array of hopes and dreams, thoughts and feelings. Creativity allows us to express these emotions in a multitude of new and stunning ways.
Creativity made Beethoven’s Symphony #5; creativity wrote Don Quixote, creativity inspired Picasso. These and millions of other masterpieces would not exist without creativity. It inspires us to pick up that brush, write that novel, and think of landscapes, people, cultures, and ideas that have never before existed.
Millions of people use creativity to express themselves every day, whether through song, dance, art, or the written word. Most won’t create the next masterpiece, but that doesn’t even matter. Our ability to create out of nothing and express our innermost thoughts in this way is truly spectacular.
Creativity Helps you See Things Differently
When we get stuck focusing too much on details, creativity can help us redirect ourselves and focus on the big picture. Thinking creatively has helped the world solve thousands of problems.
It was creative, out-of-the-box thinking that inspired Newton to develop the laws of physics, that helped Einstein figure out the laws of relativity, and that helped Darwin understand how natural selection works. Creativity helped put a man on the moon, develop vaccines, and improve industry and technology.
Most of our advances in humanity have one thing in common. Someone looked at the world, learned how people of his time thought it worked, and used creativity to look at the problem differently. Of course, they then used math and research and study and a variety of other skills to come to their conclusions, but it all started in the same place, with that spark of creativity. They all rejected the current understanding and used creativity to look at things differently.
This showcases how important creativity is to humanity and scientific advancement. Even today, researchers and scientists are using creativity to consider unique solutions to the problems of our time.
Why Is Creativity More Important Than Ever
Creativity is more important now than it has ever been, especially for individuals. With the fall of manufacturing came the rise of the information economy, which has opened doors nobody has ever dreamed of. It has never been easier to use your creativity to make money. With the shift in the economy, it will become even more important for people to consider these options in the future.
Almost anyone can start a blog, open an Etsy store, or make a Youtube channel and make money online. But you need one key factor to be successful – creativity. What will you design and sell on Etsy? How will that be different from what others are doing? What types of Youtube videos will you make, and how will you stand out from the crowd? Discover your passion and find a creative way to turn it into a profitable venture.
While it’s true that many of these platforms are already saturated, new creators are starting and building a following every day. It’s still very easy to jump in and make money with these online endeavors. And with high-paying jobs going away, the writing is on the wall. This is the way of the future for many of us.
And it’s not just these platforms. New platforms are constantly springing up that allow people to express themselves in different ways. Finding creative ways to jump on board and use these platforms to your advantage will be key to having a successful future.
Traditional Creativity is Still Important
In this world of fast-paced technology and new platforms, you may be thinking that I’m dismissing the classic definition of creativity. Music, the arts, theater, all of these creative outlets are more important than they’ve ever been.
We’re in a time of mass consumerism, but people aren’t only consuming material things. People are consuming art, music, novels, and other creative pursuits at unprecedented levels. And with all these great advances in technology, it’s never been easier for artists to interact and engage directly with their fans.
Many artists have skipped the traditional middlemen (the art galleries, the music producers, the traditional gatekeepers of the arts) and marketed their arts directly to their fans with social media. Artists no longer have to appeal to these middlemen and the masses; they can find success by creating small, niche communities online. They can sell their art directly to their fans through these websites as well. The opportunities that the internet has opened up for people to profit off their own creativity are amazing. There’s never been anything like it.
Start Using Your Creativity
If you haven’t started yet, now is the time. Post your artwork on Instagram. Upload your videos to YouTube. Publish your music on Bandlab. Find creative ways to turn your passions into income-producing assets. There has never been a better time to use your creativity to make a mark on this world, so what are you waiting for? Take that first step. You’ll be glad you did.
Melanie Allen launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.