Where Has Creativity Gone?

Dec 21, 2009 by

the Poppy
Creative Commons License photo credit: Robb North

Writing could be a hard thing to do. Having no audience or lesser readers could be better. For me, it means lesser concerns on the impacts of my writing. Launching my new theme was made to mark a new beginning. I am now trying to write just like how I started blogging few years ago. Simply write and thinking less of other stuffs. Categorization, direction (or purpose), standards, and keeping good impression are some of the things I want let go. It’s back to the earlier passion of writing.

Nevertheless, writing is still not an easy thing to do. Besides getting back to our old pattern, we sometimes find that our creativity juice is not flowing. Writers call it writers’ block, but I believe we all, knowledge worker that requires creativity, face it at one point or another. Sometimes we ask, ‘Where has that creativity gone?’

In processing that thought I have found some answers and I would like to share it with you in this article.

Where has creativity gone?

Maybe I need some rest. Rest is one main ingredient for creativity. In rest, I’m not referring to sleeping alone, it is the restful heart. Stress and creativity will not work together. Cosimo de’ Medici has believed that pressuring his artists would not get them producing their best works. Restful heart is free from worry and anxiety, from fear of something that will unlikely to happen. Restful heart is a trusting, hopeful, and cheerful heart. Rest gives you time to think and reflect, not merely consuming more materials to spice up your creativity.

Where has creativity gone?

I remembered watching one writer was giving a speech in TED Talk. I couldn’t remember her name, but she was sharing one worry that writers have; that their best work was that of the past, and there is no point to write anymore. It’s simply mind-blowing to me. Maybe it’s the worry that our present work will not match up to our past, putting us to procrastinate on engaging our creativity. It’s one thing to believe that our best work is the next one, but it’s also important to let go our past work as our baseline. Holding fast to our past works could prevent us to create something new, even if at the end it does not turn as good as our past work.

Where has creativity gone?

Is that perfectionism? I want to include more and more reference to what I’m writing. I have to add for the sake of complexity. I have to add for the sake of correctness; I’ve got to have the right and complete sentences I quoted. I have to add for the sake of reliability, showing that it’s not my useless ramblings. Do I have to add not to plagiarize? Or was that cover up of the doubt I have in my opinion? I have to back all my opinions with others’ statement that inspired me. The list can go longer and longer, stealing us from our creativity? What if we can break the rule that we created ourselves? Simply relax, believe, and express your creativity?

Where has creativity gone?

Maybe it is worry that I’m not as smart as what I expected? Has calling myself stupid made it into reality? Or it might be the low IQ, which decreasing over time? Was that why the creativity is not there? Carol S. Dweck noticed the pattern and wrote it into an article she wrote, titled “Belief That Make Smart People Dumb” (Steinberg, 2002).  Inside, she was sharing that our belief of fixed intelligence has prevented us to take courageous steps. For such person, failure is a big thing for it is proving that he or she is dumb or not intelligent enough. Failure disrupts their self-worth, and learning is as risky as the opportunities that will reveal their ignorance and errors they make.

Where has creativity gone?

Maybe it’s simply hard work that is required. Maybe we can enjoy the pleasure of effort and detach its result from our self worth. The word “gifted” might give people impression that they can achieve what they want without much effort. It undermines the hard work and commitment they have to put and invest. Our belief in our “gifted”ness could prevent us to make the commitment, persuading us to give up when we face obstacles. Maybe we should believe the other way round? We should not be bothered by whether or not we are intelligent or gifted. We can believe that we can learn and grow. Our intelligence will grow with it, and only then we will be “gifted” and able to do things easier.

Where has creativity gone?

It’s right here. It might be hidden until you take the first step. It might call you to simply start writing and letting go what you want to say. Just like what I did in drafting this article, my ramblings formed up into an article. It might not be the usual article you will find in the internet. I guess not many people sharing their thought and its complexity like this in a blog. But hopefully it’s a story that you can learn from. It’s not in a point form or bullet point, but I hope that it will help you digging and passing through any writing block or procrastination that has come in front of you. It has made my day; hopefully it makes your day too!



  1. Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid by Robert J. Sternberg.
  2. To Be of Use: The Seven Seeds of Meaningful Work by Dave Smith.

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  1. Nice writing Roberts.. I too experiencing writers block recently..
    I learn that when I took myself away from daily routines and just relax and reflect, the inspiration to write usually came. I also agree about the perfectionism.. Sometimes we have a lot of ideas and things we want to say, but it doesn’t end up in writing because we didn’t believe that it’s important enough for our blog readers..that it’s lacking in quality compared to our previous writings..and so on.

    Thanks for sharing your learning experience.. So relief to know that I’m not alone on this.. Will put your advice to work ASAP. 🙂

    Have a great Day!

  2. Robert A Henru

    Thanks Yuwana! Great to know that I’m not alone also.
    Thanks for letting me know that this article is useful for you.

  3. What you are saying makes sense. Writing with excellence sometimes hinder me from writing at all. We are all busy and if we can just let the tap flow and edit the draft and publish, we would write more and good stuff too may find light of day. Keep writing Robert.

  4. I really believe the stress and pressure of companies caring more about quantity than quality make people less creative.

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