“I am not a very creative person.”

These words have come out of my mouth, and I’ve heard them from other people as well. To be creative may have this separate meaning. By that, I really mean, we see it as separate from us. Creativity is something that some people have and some people don’t, am I right?

No. I’m dead wrong.

What if creativity is not something we are either born with or without, but something that is inherently within all humans, waiting to be cultivated and practiced? What makes someone so special, separate, and unique, that they have an ability to create something from nothing, but that ability is not available to others?

So, is it possible to prove that statement wrong? 

I said the above statement when I was comparing myself to my husband. He writes songs, lyrics, creates art. And, at the time, I played piano, but only the notes on the page. It was difficult for me to improvise, to play or color “outside of the lines,” because I was afraid. 

What would happen if I ventured outside of the lines and the results… sucked? What if whatever I played sounded horrible? What if I wrote something, and it was… mediocre?

Curiosity won out in the end. I started to trust myself to do things that I’d never done before; creating music on the spot; singing, solo, on a video, without lessons, and sharing it to social media; starting a blog without knowing all the details of what to write about; starting a business without knowing how far it would go. (It didn’t “go” anywhere, really.)

But worse than the pain of “failing,” was wondering what would have happened had I had the courage to do the things that I wanted to do, but scared me. 

Wondering, when I imagine myself to be old, and close to death, what would have happened if I put myself out there more and tried, even if it meant failing, or not succeeding based on the world’s standards?

No, I could not wait around and put off the curiosities of my heart. 

Yes, I would start on things I wanted to do, even if nothing was guaranteed. (Nothing is ever guaranteed anyway, that’s an illusion of perfectionism, grasping for certain safety.)

And most definitely, I would not hide what I wanted to create, because hiding reveals shame, and shame deserves no place in creativity. 

So here I am: Creating regardless of outcome. Practicing showing up with consistency. Trusting myself to create. Being okay with shitty art. Feeling proud of myself for letting go of feeling the need to hide, or to not create unless it meets some internal or external standard of perfection. 

“To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.”

-Ludwig van Beethoven