If I told you I had created a cake, would you expect to be able to eat the cake?
Of course you would, because the word created literally means “to bring something into being; to cause something to become real in the world; to make something happen”.
It does not mean “to have an idea, to think up something or to think about how something might happen.”
Therefor, if I told you I “created” a cake, you have every right to expect to see a cake on the bench.
The word creative originally meant “possessing the power to create”, ie: possesing the power to get something done. Lately however, it’s come to mean “possessing the power to think things up”.
Regularly (enough for me to blog about it) I have people say to me “My problem is I never finish things because I’m too creative”.
I’ve also had people say to me “I’m not very creative, but I’m very good at getting things done.”
This tells me we have lost our way, when it comes to understanding what it means to be “creative”.
We’ve bought into the myth that what’s going on in someones head has value in the real world; It doesn’t.
Thinking about murdering someone doesn’t make you a murderer. Thinking about having a date with Pippa Middleton doesn’t make you prince charming. Thinking about a business idea, a product or a new service doesn’t make you a “creative”.
What makes you creative is your ability to bring it into the world in a way that other people can understand and value.
As long as it’s in your head, you haven’t created anything yet. You MUST get it out into the real world in a way that shows up as valuable.
We need to use the word “imaginative” for people who have a lot of ideas. Imaginative people love to dream things up but the word does not imply they have brought their ideas into the world.
I think we’ve diminished the value of what it really takes to be creative. Being creative isn’t easy, you need to imagine AN idea, decide upon it as THE idea and then do everything required to bring it into the world.
The process normally takes months or years to get a single creation completed. It’s blood, sweat, tears, risk and sacrifice. For that reason we should separate the dreamers from the doers and give more credit to the people who are truly creating things.