Everyone Is Uncreative And So Are You
It's so easy to go with the status quo. No matter what you're doing all you have to do is look around, see how everyone else is doing it, then copy them. Maybe you add a touch of individualistic flair and tell yourself you're different, but you're not really different.
It's gotten so bad that “nothing is original” is pretty much an aphorism. Thank you Jim Jarmusch.
There are some good things that come along with this lack of originality, for example it creates hilarious irony when young adults subscribe to some subculture or fad to express their individuality in the exact same way all their friends express theirs, but it's also responsible for an increasing amount of complacency.
See, the status quo is what it is because it works on average. What that means is as long as you follow the crowd you'll never fail – you'll never be a laughing stock. You'll also never be fantastic.
Being great means breaking free of the rules everyone else is following and with that comes the risk of monumental failure.
If you're not prepared to stuff it up, you don't deserve to get it right.
Being creative is not about coming up with ground breaking, one-of-a-kind, totally original ideas though – it's about combining existing ideas in a new and exciting way. This doesn't just happen; it's not like creative legends like Da Vinci or Picasso just woke up one day with an amazing idea or two and decided they might dedicate their life to learning the skills necessary to bring them into reality.
Creativity needs practice – which is why I don't buy into the idea that it's something you either aren't or are. I think creativity can be learned. The thing is, it's a way of thinking. It's about breaking rules. Not important rules, like which side of the road you're meant to drive on, but meaningless social rules.
Have you ever put blueberries in your stir-fry? Have you ever cooked a steak for breakfast?
These two seemingly trivial ventures away from social convention are the sort of seeds that grow into creativity. Where an uncreative person asks “why?”, a creative person will ask “why not?”.
Creativity is effectively the product of lifelong curiosity – if you continually question every rule, every convention and every part of the status quo you'll eventually find a new, better way to do things. By questioning everything you eventually begin to connect your individual conclusions, rather than trying to connect the standard conclusions.
The result is that rather than churning out a slight variation on exactly the same thing everyone else has churned out you create something that seems to be completely new. It isn't completely new, it just follows a path that diverges from common thought. It follows your path.
It doesn't matter if you're trying to be creative and innovative in copywriting, marketing, business, art, music or anything – the process is the same. You question the status quo, you follow your own instincts and you take risks. There's really nothing else to it.
Here's a song that demonstrates my points twofold; first, it somewhat matches the ideas I'm talking about, and second it uses relatively standard electronic music production techniques to create something that is nothing like standard electronic music. It's nothing like anything else really.