What Happens When Creativity Is No Longer a Choice?
I’ve been comparing notes about creativity with my buddy, Jeff Cummings, for years now. I write historical fiction. He writes songs.
We both feel the same way: Creativity is no longer a choice.
For him, when he’s not creating, he can slip into depression.
For me, when I’m not creating, I stop progressing.
When we first started on this path, creating was about making. It was about finding joy in the process. It was about satisfying a need within.
But then that wasn’t enough.
We both found we wanted creating to be about more. It became about making something that’s meaningful to others.
And that’s when creativity evolved from pastime to driving force. From serving a need to making a difference.
And what is born is beautiful.
Jeff’s latest song and music video for his group, Sun Valley Drive, is an example of something beautiful.
For Jeff, writing songs is about storytelling — peeks into his life.
He wants the song to resonate with the listener — but not so the listener can relate to him.
That surprised me. He said, “I don’t want people to just listen to my story. I want them to remember theirs.”
“I don’t want people to just listen to my story. I want them to remember theirs.” — Jeff Cummings, Sun Valley Drive
That makes the song meaningful for the audience.
And that got me thinking.
Do I do that?
Do my historical fiction stories make people think of their own stories?
How can I do that?
Authenticity and honesty are the keys. When writers take the time to develop both into the scenes, the characters, the dialogues and the interactions, they trigger a reaction in the reader — emotions, memories, connections.
Triggers are indicators of whether you are making something meaningful.
Pay attention to triggers.
Think of Jeff’s music video.
Jeff’s guitar writer and co-writer, Jesse Bergeron, composed the music for “Brilliant Day.” Hearing the score triggered a memory of a perfect day for Jeff.
Jeff wanted to write about a perfect day that people can relate to — something that would trigger a memory for them. So he wrote the lyrics to convey being with someone who makes you laugh, slows down the pace of this manic world, and helps you revel in the moment.
Jeff wanted the video to feel real — to trigger real emotions. So he chose an engaged couple to star in the video — bringing authentic chemistry to the visuals.
The result is poetic, meaningful and compelling.
The music, the video and their story trigger a memory, a feeling, a smile.
And that forms a connection between creator and audience.
And Then the Creativity Journey Evolves
So writers add another charge to their writing and creativity:
Create something meaningful.
Are you up for the challenge?
Wherever you are on the Creativity Journey, keep creating. Because if you’re like Jeff and me, you don’t have a choice. And the results can be beautiful.
Sometimes You Need a Little Creativity Boost
My free eBook might just help:
I use these exercises to keep the juices flowing — in myself and in my clients. (I am a marketing consultant, after all.)
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