Saturday, September 10, 2011

Is creativity a muscle or a vessel?

I work with a woman who has a really boring job. It's not a secret. She knows it - we've laughed about several times.

But the other day, we happened to start talking about non-work stuff, and somehow, we got onto a rather impassioned discussion about the book Twilight.

She is an avid fan. My tastes lean a little more toward Sookie Stackhouse and her vampire world.

But during the course of the conversation, she mentioned that she has a fine arts degree. She wanted to be an artist, and on the weekends, she still is very creative. She doesn't mind that her job is boring, she told me. If it wasn't, she'd give away too much creativity to leave any for herself.

I've been thinking about that for awhile. I can't decide if I agree with her. I guess I've always thought of creativity as a muscle that became stronger every time you used it, not as a vessel that you had to worry about emptying.

But I'll admit, when I was a journalist and I wrote and developed stories every day, I was pretty zapped by the weekend. By Saturday, I didn't really feel like writing my own stories. I did, though. And I feel like it made me a better writer.

Now, I'm on on the fence - but I'm still leaning toward my original view.

Any thoughts?


  1. I'm with you Diane. The more you use it, the better you get. However, I can see how tired you'd be by the end of a week writing for others. Glad you kept on with both--I always enjoyed your columns and now your Facebook and blog comments. And I'm so proud of you for being published now, too!

  2. Aww, thanks, Lynette!! I appreciate that!!

    I think my friend had an interesting perspective - that you have to save up your creativity - but I'm not entirely convinced it works that way. I'm afraid I'd get really rusty. I have a hard enough time staying motivated as it is!!!