The ideas, the flow, the problems, the feelings, unlocking these opens those pathways to creativity.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the Samantha Leith Show. Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it.
Creativity, the use of imagination or original ideas to create something, inventiveness. Thanks to Google and Oxford Languages for that definition. What does that actually mean for most of us in our real world experience, and why is creativity important for us? This month on the Samantha Leith Show, we’re going to explore the wonderful world of imagination and come away with our youthful wonder, reignite it, hopefully. Let’s go.
What did you come up with for traits of creative people? I know you may find it hard to believe, but yes, some of the traits of creative people are spookily similar to the ones of confident people, and here are a few of them. They’re curious, energetic, introverted and extroverted. You can be that at the same time, people. Passionate, risk takers, imaginative, they’re interested in people. For some, they may actually make creativity a ritual. Take Jerry Seinfeld for example. He wrote a new joke every single day. Some of them would’ve been terrible and we’ll never get to hear them, but by exercising that creative muscle he came up with some great ones. Now, I’ll admit his humor doesn’t do anything for me at all, but you get the idea.
If I hadn’t stopped writing my song thoughts in a journal, maybe, just maybe I would’ve come up with gold. I’ll never know. Well, maybe I will because I’m currently working on a song that says everything I think we need to hear in order to be extraordinary. And hey, it saves me having to come up with a different song every single month. Anyway, got sidetracked. I don’t know if it’ll ever get done or good enough, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is me working on that muscle. If you’re watching this and thinking it’s totally irrelevant because you have no interest in anything artistic, I want you to stick with me please.
Now, Brené Brown says, “There’s no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don’t. Unused creativity isn’t benign, it lives within us until it’s expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear.” And Elizabeth Gilbert says, “A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner – continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you – is a fine art, in an of itself.”
But Sam, they’re both writers. I’m just a… Insert job title here. Creativity is in all of us. You got to get that. We don’t get to decide if we are or we aren’t. We simply need to let it out, explore what it means to us. Here are a few things that people do that may not seem creative, but actually are, maybe some of them will resonate with you.
You spend time making an Excel spreadsheet a little more colorful. You add a note to your son’s school lunch. Maybe you brainstorm ideas and problems with colleagues. You always wear great lingerie. You play music while you work. You cut flowers from your garden to put on your hall table. You send texts randomly to friends with a thought. You watch crime TV and you solve it before the end. You doodle on scraps of paper as you work. You wiggle your way through traffic to avoid delays. All of these things are creative. Hell, deciding exactly how you want your avocado on your toast is creative. I am team smoosh all the way, by the way. Now go back to that list you did last week and do it again. Work that muscle with some new ideas in your head. How are you creative?
Now, if you’ve read The Artist’s Way or paid attention to any of my episodes, you’ll know about the power of writing. It’s not about having to write a New York Times best seller, it’s about getting our thoughts out of our heads and onto paper. This is truly one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself towards, well, anything and being more creative. The ideas, the flow, the problems, the feelings, unlocking these opens those pathways to creativity. And if you want to take it a step further, grab a timer. Physical’s really great, but if you’ve got a phone or something use that, and then carve out 30 minutes for something creative. I will say every day, and for you to make it a priority in your daily success formula, et cetera. But I’m realistic so if this is new to you, try once this week. If it’s riding your Keenon, do that. Cooking, do that. Solving your financial walls, do that. I’m not even joking. Everything takes creativity.
If you have a problem in your life to solve, or there’s a bigger one in the world you want to tackle, take the time to work on it. Don’t wait to have the time or for lightning to strike you with your genius. Work on it now.
When Elodie was little, there are two things I did that I didn’t really understand why, and now I do. Don’t you wish we got a hindsight like way back when? Anyway, that’s a tug discussion for another day. I wanted her to love reading so we read every single night from birth. I wanted to make it interesting so I had different accents for every character and book. Some of the books she still has, and I used to get in trouble if I read the same book and did a different accent, she could remember it all. You are what you eat. But Wanda, why didn’t you say? I want to step in puddles? I recently read to my niece like this, and now when she sees me, she drags me into her playroom and wants me to read her a book. That creativity has helped spark another generation of readers.
Then I was getting her dressed in the morning. When she was really little I could put her in anything. Then she wanted some power over it, and it’s a good thing so I tried to make it fun instead of a drama. I would take out a few outfits when she said, “Fashion parade.” This ensemble is brought straight to you from the streets of New York, part punk with the buckle on the skirt and a nod to school girl chic in the collared T-shirt. Next we have a trip down a summer lane, soft and flowing with pansies, dancing off the cut, and you’ll be skipping through the day with gelato on your mind. I don’t know how I came up with any of it and some of my accents were absolute shite, and they still are, but it worked. She loves to put together outfits and she does it really well. Now, I think maybe it was a bit of a dumb idea because at nearly 17 in a school with no school uniform, sometimes we still have all these fashion parades just without the chatter.
What can you do today, right now that’s a bit more creative? My challenge for you this week is to take things that you do every single day and add a little flare. Maybe you can even make a face out of those vegetables on the plate for dinner tonight?
When I was growing up, creativity was, are you an artist, are you an actress or are you a musician? And at school, I was the artist. I was in every play going and I was singing, so I was the creative kid at school. And I remember thinking, oh, that’s what it means to be creative, being artistic. And that I think is what most people’s experience of what it is to be a creative. And so we get told all these bullshit stories that society has told us that maybe a teacher has told us. No one means us any harm by telling us these things, but these are the messages that are woven into society that become part of our being and our thought process.
As I got older, I realized creativity could be mathematics. And mathematics and music are really closely linked.
You can be a design thinker. There’s so many ways to be creative. You can just be a creative thinker and not actually have any physical, tangible output. Creativity, as you get older, you realize there are so many layers to creativity. But unfortunately, most of us get stunted in our developmental growth at the school age. We’ve grown up in every other part of our lives, but we’ve left our creativity behind in primary school, and that’s such a pity.
Thank you very much for watching this show. Thank you very much. Thank you very, very, very much. Creativity and action in an outro. On a more serious note, please subscribe to the Samantha Leith Show and this week please do something wildly creative, share it on Instagram and tag me @samanthaleith and I’ll cheer you along. Now go be extraordinary, because I know you are.
Produced by Rebecca Saunders and Pyrmont Studios
Songwriters Anthony Newley / Leslie Bricusse
© Downtown Music Publishing, Taradam Music, Inc, Tratore, Universal Music Publishing Group
Produced by Samantha Leith / Nathan Johnson
Vocals by Samantha Leith