I call myself a ‘creative’. It’s a standard term in the advertising/marketing world, where I’ve doddled about for the past few decades. In practice, I’m a copywriter, a manager, a strategist and a half dozen other titles, all of which fail to fully define what I do.
In the business world, it’s often a concern. Without titles, other people get nervous. What you do defines who you are. Can they know how to treat you if they don’t know what you do?
Of course they can, but it can be a struggle. The real issue is not letting what you do define your creativity. It’s a restriction that can creep up and throttle ideas in their sleep.
So does your creativity itself have to be categorised? No. At least, not in your own mind. Keeping your creativity broad and flexible will help you in your day job, and help improve your thinking.
Writing is one of the ways I express my creativity (are you’re brave? Spend a few $$ on my first novel, Stormchild), but it’s certainly not the only way.
I take photographs, and play with them through Photoshop.
I tinker with 3D animation software, video software, web authoring software.
I wonder about the ever changing world and create ways to interact with it. Lifetime In My Pocket was born there.
I designed my own home extension and landscaping.
I helped invent a new product, the Fruchoc Hot Cross Bun (and it’s delicious).
I’ve built my own wood oven, designed my own swimming pool enclosure, created artworks for my home, created recipes, designed party themes, created poems and limericks and jokes and stories for my children and… and …. and…. you get the idea.
I enjoy thinking creatively. I enjoy solving problems. I enjoy looking at things differently. Yes, I understand the need to categorise myself in the world of business, but it’s important not to let that all important title restrict other aspects of your creativity.
The thrill of creative thinking is not knowing how disparate ideas and concepts might come together in the future. The dome of a wood oven might inspire a product form innovation. The limerick that made your daughter’s eyes roll might resurface in a piece of copy.
Think widely. Create outside your role definition. Don’t allow what you do define who you are.