I used to think that being creative was a gift. A gift from the Gods if you like. And that the Gods weren't generous when it came to me.
I mean, if you know me you'll know what a big, lumbering oaf of a human being I actually am.
But enough of the self-pity.
Creativity is, or was, I thought, something I didn't I do. I didn't used to see myself as 'creative'. This realisation was partly driven by the fact that when I worked with marketing agencies, there are often people with the job title, 'Creative'.
Wow. That's so cool I thought.
There are also people in agencies who have job titles such as, 'Creative Director'.
Can you imagine? Being SO creative that you direct the creativity of others?
But it's not just 'the Creatives' (what a great name for a superhero team) who do creativity. Oh no. Web developers, marketing bods, designers, artists, illustrators and a whole heap of other people produce, what is often referred to as 'the Creative'.
By 'the Creative' they mean anything from a web page to an advert, a logo or a graphic design. Just about anything that is produced in the marketing world can be labelled, 'The Creative'.
So, I thought, I don't do any of that stuff. I'm not, therefore, 'creative'. Am I?
But you know what I think now?
You're thinking, 'No. Andrew, I don't. Because you've not told me'.
So here's what I think...
I AM creative. I'm blinking marvellously creative!
Or, at least, I'm as creative as the next person. The next person being you perhaps. Which means you're creative too! We're ALL creative.
Human beings, by their very nature are creative . We couldn't make it through the day without expressing one form of creativity or another.
You don't believe me?
Well, here's an obvious example. Unless you have some sort of mental or physical impairment, you talk. You talk all day to your friends, family, colleagues and everyone else you meet.
Talking is an act of remarkable creativity.
Every day you construct, or create, sentences that no one, in the history of human kind has ever said. And those sentences will never be said again!
Isn't that amazing? That's genius! How do you do that? And all so effortlessly too. That's because you're creative. You really are.
You're creative in the way you put your outfits together in a morning. Combining, as you do, clothes that are ironed with non-ironed clothes you pull on and hope that the creases drop out.
You're creative in the way you organise your kitchen cupboards or your shoe rack. You're creative in the way you manage your children, your partner or your elderly parents. You're creative in how you wiggle out of projects at work you don't want and wiggle into those that you do.
You're creative in the way you eat your lunch at your desk whilst surfing the web and taking part in Facebook Messenger chats. You're creative in your choice of route home, how you get the best seat on the train - if you can get a seat - and where you park your car so that no-one bangs your door.
And so on and so on. All day long. You're a creative genius! We ALL are in our own, tiny, unremarkable yet brilliant little ways.
So why is it that many of us, me included, don't see ourselves as 'creative'?
As with most things in life, there are many, many reasons. An obvious one is how we pigeon-hole ourselves and others into defined roles and responsibilities.
You work in Admin. She works in 'creativity'. And that's it. She's creative. And you're not.
Yet, if we all saw ourselves as creative, we'd all feel a lot happier. Many would feel more engaged in their work. Especially if they were rewarded to think and act creatively.
But no. We put creativity in box. We then give that box to certain people and we call those people, 'The Creatives'.
What a shame this is. What a waste of human potential and talent. Call me an old romantic if you like, but it doesn't have to be this way. The world needs more creativity doesn't it? There are so many problems that need as many creative brains we can put to them.
So, seize your birth-rights people!
Don't deny your natural talents and abilities! Recognise how creative you actually are. Be proud of how creative you already are and look to develop your creative skills still further.
And when someone asks you what you do, tell them, 'I'm a Creative!'