Not a lot of people would say they are creative. It’s only a small percent. But if you ask me, I think anybody can be creative. Even an idiot can do it! All you need is to be willing to make stuff and see what people have to say of it. Here, I’ll show you.
Creativity is taking what you know and putting a spin on it and seeing what people think. Even those who come up with guitar riffs are getting ideas from somewhere. They are drawing from a source. Same with those who come up with workouts or short stories. Everybody is taking something from someone. But it’s the arrangement of these ideas or style in which they are done that makes them creative.
Originality is not invention. It’s presentation.
The best thing you can do to be creative is to spend half your time taking in and the other half putting out. Being creative is having places to get ideas from. So if you want to be a better writer, read. If you want to be a better guitar player, listen. And spend as much time as you can reading and listening to people you think you can learn from.
Then the other half you need to just churn it out. Most of what you make will be pretty terrible at first, like I said. And that’s fine. Because every once in a while you’ll make something you like and that other people like, too. Creativity is as much a game of probability as anything. So the more you put out the more likely you are to make something people are going to say is creative. They’ll go, “That person is very creative. I wonder what they are going to come up with next.”
I write about three thousand words a day and record guitar for two hours a day. That’s a lot of output. And I would say of everything I make only 10% of it is any good or worth saving. The rest is recycled. But 10% of 3,000 > 10% of 1,000 or even 10% of 500. I’m not saying you should rush it. Some days I write only a paragraph and record nothing. Those are the days I want to end it all, usually. But it does happen, and is no more fun for me than it is for anybody.
Some days The Juice comes and some days it doesn’t. But you can’t wait around for The Juice if you want to be creative. You have to get to work and sometimes The Juice will come and other days it’ll be off on vacation somewhere. But the key is to be ready for when it does. The Juice will come.
PS – The Juice is not something you are born with like scoliosis or an extra set of toes. The Juice is what is given to those who turn up. I like to think The Juice is from God, actually. It’s sort of His way of saying, “I can see you are working hard, so here, have some Juice.” And then He gives you the Juice and you are glad. “Thanks God. Thanks for the Juice.”