A FEW THOUGHTS ON CREATIVITY

Do you love ideas? I do. Almost to a fault.

When I hear a good idea, see a good film, play a good game, or watch daring dreamers bring something new into existence, I’m in awe. I’m kind of an ideas junkie. I love watching people explore their passion and make something out of it. There are so many ideas out there we don’t even have to think for ourselves if we don’t want to.

At different times in my life, I’ve been a collector. I’ve collected comic books, punk rock records, Star Wars junk, and I currently have a couple cabinets filled with obscure board games. If you’ve ever collected anything, you know that there is so much stuff out there to get into that it could consume your life.

Just out of high school, I worked in a record store. Every two weeks, when I received my paycheck, I would go through the same ritual. Set aside $50 for gas. Set aside $50 for going to shows at the local punk rock club. Spend the rest on the music I’d been saving under the counter at the store, utilizing my employee discount, of course.

Some would say I wasted a lot of money. I’m probably one of those people to some extent. But what I gained was inspiration. I connected with music.  A lot of the times I was just a consumer of others’ ideas. But at some point, inspiration moved me to action. It made me want to create something so that I could express my own ideas and even try on some different identities for a while. Being creative, I learned a little bit about who I was, about what made me feel alive.

I’ve played in bands and released some records (even  sold a few copies, too).  I cared so much about my music that it became the focus of my life.  If I’m honest, I know that the world would have been fine without my contribution but there was something special about putting an idea into action. It made a difference in me. It stretched me outside of the limits of what was comfortable for me. Writing this blog has done the same thing. Other creative endeavors have pushed my limits as well.

My latest creation. A strategy card game.

Creativity is exciting. When ideas come to life it can change the world, even if it is just a little corner of it.  Sometimes, maybe the only change that happens is in the one who is being creative. Other times that inspiration lies dormant and good ideas remain in the realm of the abstract. I think this is where the line is drawn between consumers and creators.

Ideas have to come to life in order to make a difference. Will you be a consumer or a creator (maybe “co-creator” would be a better word)? What’s your idea and what difference will it make?

I don’t want to simply soak up the ideas of others’ in this life. I want to be swept up into movement that brings life.

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