Monday, September 18, 2023

Conversing on the Creativity Conundrum

Here is a blog post I don't think I ever published. From the read, it looks like I wrote it 9 years ago while in my MBA program. In 2014, I had the rough draft of Curveball at the Crossroads and I was between jobs. I had no idea what I wanted to get into, I only knew I didn't want to do government contracting anymore. Little did I know in 2014 that I would get back into government contracting several more times and I would in fact still be creative on the side.

The big difference between mid-30s me and mid-40s me is that I don't mind being creative on the side. I have grown to balance my professional and my creative. It is great when they come together, but otherwise, it is always an interesting challenge to grow and excel in both.

But anyway, without making this intro its own post, check out my thoughts on creativity from 2014. I found this interesting.


I've written a bit about creativity before. To me, it's a new and fascinating subject. To be honest, I never realized creativity was a big deal until the last year. My thoughts on the subject began when I was in Afghanistan and was one of few who worked on creative endeavors in my spare time instead of burrowing away in the gym as many others did. I was the one who had a little Yoda figure by my desk, who hung a pic of me in an afro posing with Humpty Hump, and brought a DJ Kitty puppet across the world.

In business school, they talk about creativity as a good thing. Something rare and something that should be celebrated. The guy who's done stand-up comedy, ran around Tampa in an afro, and wrote a fiction book is looked at as unique. Well, that's a good thing.

Now my challenge is to find a job that allows me to incorporate creativity and make good money. Yes, I want to make good money. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. I don't want to be a starving writer.

That said, I have been reading a lot more about creativity. What people think about it, how they define it, and how they encourage it.

Fast's Co-Create blog has been a must-read for me. They publish a lot of articles for creative minded companies (advertising, marketing, etc), but I think the lessons are applicable anywhere. As long as people are open to ideas.

This article, for example, discusses how to break out of a funk and disrupt uncreative processes. Sometimes it's as easy as moving to another location. Although I agree and try to do this personally, taking my laptop to Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, etc, I've found it tough, if not impossible, to do so in the workplaces I have been in. Government processes are pretty standard and leadership enforces that. Even if employees end up droopy-eyed and zombified at their monitors.

There is a lot a big push in creativity study to mimic the mind of a child. Kids have great imaginations. Unfortunately, in our current society, jobs, academics, processes, and "life" suck the soul and spark out of peoples' imaginations. That might be because we start getting more number-focused and time-crunched, and our creative muscles atrophy.

Imagination is a muscle, if you don't work it, you lose it.

After seeing The Lego Movie a few months ago, I wrote about the Lego Corporation and their push to keep people, especially kids, creative. Here is another article on CoCreate on how playing with Legos can keep people creative. I think any toy will work. Legos are good because their pieces can build so many different things. But having a Star Wars figure or a Disney figurine, or anything else that will spark the mind will do the trick.

Capitalizing on the idea of the mind of a child is Ethan Nicolle, creator of the comic-turned-cartoon Axe Cop. I love Axe Cop. It's hilarious. According to the backstory, Nicolle got together with his then 5-year old brother and illustrated what his brother wrote. The result is a comic that is more creative than almost anything else on TV. Nicolle writes about his creative process in a recent blog on
We grow up and we get jaded.  We learn that flight is impossible, super powers are imaginary, guns are bad and the only real ultimate good is to put your pop cans in the proper container and don’t judge anyone or anything.  We may get bigger, but our world gets smaller.  We shrink.  We carry our withered and jaded view of reality like a badge of wisdom and we try to force kids to accept it before their time, and it is in that moment that we rob them of what being a kid really ought to be.

The whole read is great.

Of course, once you do create something, you have to get it out there. CoCreate recently posted any interesting blog on self-promotion and getting your work discovered. I need follow those steps closely as I start sending out queries for my fiction book, hoping to get it published sometime soon.

Worst case scenario, I find a job that is not creative and keep plugging away at my creative endeavors in my spare time.

Wouldn't be the first time.