“Millennials will save us all.” That was the underreported subtitle of Joel Stein’s TIME piece, The Me, Me, Me Generation. Stein’s article is probably one of the most popular articles written about our generation. And since it was on the front cover of TIME it must be true. We will save the world.
How? By being creative.
Courtney Spence has called creativity the currency of our generation. We know that having is not always the answer. What matters is how we use what we have. We know that being creative isn't just about the arts. Creativity is a positive way of looking at the world. It’s a plan well thought out. A random act of kindness. A job well done. It’s this century’s problem solving and our generation is particularly good at it because...
What do Millennials have in abundance? Talent.
You may scoff at that statement. I know that there are many times in the day where I feel like talent is precisely what I need more of. But the truth is we 18 to 30 year olds are more likely to give our skills and talents to a cause than we are to open our wallets.
That may be because there isn't much in our wallets to begin with. (Who carries cash these days?) But I’d also like to think that we value talent over money. That we recognise that a good joke is sometimes more of a change maker than a thousand dollars.
We’ve seen it happen. We’ve seen how a viral video can have a global impact. How one poem can inspire millions. One photograph can go down in history. One song can give voice to a movement.
Creativity is a changemaker.
And every sector is beginning to acknowledge it. This year, Aotearoa was the proud host of SEWF17 (Social Enterprise World Forum 2017). The theme of the forum was part of the inspiration for this post: Ka Koroki Te Manu - Creating Our Tomorrow. A little closer to home the TEDxRuakura event speakers all sought creative solutions to the problems of our society. It’s gotten to the point now where I think everyone can agree that...
The world needs effective creatives.
So we know that creativity is important. And like everything important, we know that creativity is something worth growing. How do we develop our own talents? I’ll let these tried and tested creatives weigh in on that.
5 Habits of Highly Effective Creatives:
1. Pay attention. Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost. That’s the advice of author Henry James. Translation? Be present. Unplug once in a while. Creativity is fuelled by our awareness and appreciation of the life that surrounds us. Let’s not miss a second of it because we were looking at a screen.
2. Get out. CS Lewis, Mozart, Thoreau, Keats. The list goes on. Everyone from scientists to artists and musicians recommend going outside. They all agree that fresh air and exercise do great things for the creative brain. So the next time you feel stuck, take a walk (like the Monday Crew!). Remember that Newton discovered gravity under a tree.
3. Build communities. Laolu Senbanjo believes that every artist has a name, has a story. There are so many different artists in our lives. Let’s rediscover them. Give our friends some real face time. Maybe make some new connections. Let’s be surprised. Listen, learn, and share the stories of the creatives we know.
4. Show up. Stick to a schedule. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love says that the best way to get inspiration is to show up even when that inspiration isn’t there. Set yourself a daily creative goal. Or set aside some regular creative minutes. Use your waiting time well. Eventually, your creative genius will come to you.
5. Stay positive. No one said that #LivingLit was easy. Living creatively can feel like it’s all learning curve. Julie Bernstein recommends we look out for opportunities especially when the going’s steepest. That we stand in the tough spaces.
The long and short of all that advice? Whether you play the guitar. Or write poetry. Or you believe that code can be beautiful. You are a creative. You have a gift worth sharing.
We, young people, have more talent than we think. There is definitely enough for everyone to share. We can be ambitious or dormant ambitious about how we want to use or develop the talent we have. But in any case, we’ve got everything we need to be #LivingLit here and now. So...
The challenge is to #LiveLit creatively. Stuck for ideas? Here are some suggestions on how to get started:
● Read CoLiberate’s blog post and give yourself Permission to Play.
● Get creative at The Meteor’s Fun Palace in Hamilton this 7- 8 October.
● Sign up for creative event updates from Creative Waikato.
● Overflowing with ideas? Starting a bullet journal could help to get them organised.
● Does your creativity need direction? Flick the Seed Team a message and ask them how you can make your mark on a vibrant Waikato.
Good luck and until next time, live lit!