Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Voices of Fiction - Can Creativity Be Taught - Wrap Up

Welcome to another edition of Voices of Fiction.

Over the last few weeks, we've heard the opinion of numerous writers on whether creativity can be taught or not. The overwhelming majority answered this question with a 'no', while further explaining their positions on the matter.

Many believe everyone is creative in some way, and the ability only needs to be nurtured and developed for the individual to reach his/her creative potential.

Can creativity be taught?

I agree with the authors who pointed out the trickiness of this question. The answer can vary quite widely based on the person's perception of the meanings of the two main words - creativity and teach.

In my mind, creativity is the ability to create. If you think about this, most of us create something every single day - whether it be dinner, a written-letter, a journal entry, a paper plane, a crochet sock, etc. This list could go on forever.

My personal thoughts, on teaching, are that it is the act of sharing with someone the knowledge of or instructions on how to accomplish a task.

So, by changing the question slightly to, can someone be taught to create? Most of our guests would have probably answered with a 'yes.'

Most of our authors probably went with the most logical, impulsive meaning of creativity, which for me, would be imagination. Can imagination be taught?

Absolutely not! But as most of the authors pointed out in their answers, this is an area where everyone can get on the playing field. It is also a gift which can be squashed easily during one's childhood. We are all born with an imagination, but if it's not allowed to be nurtured, it can go away. *smile* - Think of all the movies which point this little aspect out - Peter Pan, The NeverEnding Story, Toy Story. There are many more to go with those three.

I don't believe you ever lose your imagination, but once you've pushed it away for so long, you would have to learn to get it back. And this loops us back to teaching - I believe you can be taught to reconnect with your imagination through meditation, visualizations, and such.

If you find yourself saying, "I can never do that, I don't have the imagination," think again. It's there.

Now that's not to say you would be able to write a book or even prepare a gourmet meal strictly from your mind's thoughts. Imaginations differ from one person to another, and creative talents vary. Ask yourself - did you play cops and robbers as a child, did you make mud patties, did you doodle on the bedroom walls, did you create? I believe the majority would answer such questions with a 'yes.' If so, this is proof of the existence of your imagination.

On writing: While writing lessons can improve your skills for presenting your imagined story, it is your imagination which will create your story.

My final answer to the presented question - Can creativity be taught? No. We are all creative in our own ways. The imagination isn't something that can be taught into an individual. But, one can be taught to harness this wonderful gift and to present it in the best possible form.

Thank you all for joining us as we explored 'can creativity be taught.' Next week we'll be exploring another topic on "Voices of Fiction." Feel free to join us.


Michael Offutt, S.F.A. said...

I don't know if I agree. I've met people in life that have never had an original thought in their heads.

Cher Green said...

Or, perhaps they didn't share. :)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I've learned to realize that everyone is capable of imagining and creating. Sometimes they can't articulate into words, but just watch their actions. How many people do we know that can do the most extraordinary things with material, wool, wood, a pencil... yet they couldn't talk their way out of traffic ticket, for instance.

Long-windy me agrees, anyone can learn anything if there is even a spark of passion.

Cher Green said...

Very true. Just because someone doesn't use it, doesn't mean their not capable - just means they choose not to, which is that person's choice.

Blog Directory