Are there Creative Have-Nots?

I think the creative process springs from an impulse to renew, disrupt, and even destroy.

People who are wired in a way that responds strongly to that impulse get labelled as "creative types" even though they also have conservative trends in their personality that value stability, consistency, and regularity. Those whose trends are predominantly stability-seeking get labelled as “uncreative.”

None of us always likes or dislikes creativity. Perhaps for some, dividing the world into creative and uncreative camps fires them up into action - why not? But I would stay far away from believing in those as fixed categories. As a “creative type,” with dominant trends toward imagination and disruption, I’ve learned a lot from valuing the conservative trends in myself and others.

I see people more as ongoing processes rather than fixed positions. Both personality trends belong. My “brilliant” idea may fall on deaf ears today, but it may be met with a warm welcome next week, when perhaps I’ve taken in some criticism or found an even deeper conviction in the worth of the original proposal. Or maybe something has simply changed the mood of the conversation at work that has nothing to do with my machinations. The idea could also die. Sometimes this process has led me to go elsewhere with my current spark. A creative idea introduced into a group may have great potential value at some point, but it is ripe only when enough people resonate with and embrace its disruptive impulse.

“We are all patchwork,
and so shapeless and diverse in composition that each bit,
each moment, plays its own game.”
— Michel de Montaigne

Is there a guide to making this process smooth and consistent? I hope not - that would be
co-opting the mystery of creativity, leaving us with a substitute that is far too inert. A little danger and discomfort go a long way.

by Eric Pomert signup