Joy Ann Ribar is the author of the Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery series. You can find out more about her on her website at www.joyribar.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here.
This week is World Creativity and Innovation Week, declared by the United Nations. Its aim is to empower creativity from all people in all functions of life to improve our world. That may sound lofty and maybe even cliché to some, but according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, every occupational field in the world is seeking creative minds to move the world forward in the 21st century. In the world we live in, creativity has become an essential skill and tool for a better future.
At every author presentation, discussion, or workshop I’ve been part of, I meet people who tell me they have no creativity. This makes me frown at best and causes my hair to stand on end at worst. Of course you have creativity, I always say. And it is the truth. The idea that each of us is right-brained (where creativity tends to dominate) or left-brained (where logical sequential thinking reigns) is not an all-or-nothing notion. Both hemispheres of our dynamic brains are connected with nerve pathways that communicate and work together. I call it the party in your brain.
The key to creativity is to cultivate it, like a garden. The soil is already present, it just needs fertilizing. For instance, listening to music can ignite creative ideas. So can spending time with creative people, or reading, or viewing works of art.
Believe it or not, physical activities stimulate the brain, too. Aerobic exercises work out the brain as well as the body. I can testify to the truth in that, as walking is always my go-to activity when I’m stuck in a writing tangle I can’t find my way through. A good walk in nature or other change of scenery makes the creative syrup pour.
Psychologists also encourage us to be lifelong learners, whether it’s a new hobby like cooking or quilting or a skill like self-defense or carpentry. Learning stimulates the creativity in the brain. I recently met several people from Quebec while traveling, and I wanted to really talk with them beyond exchanging a few pleasantries. So, I started learning French about 75 days ago. My husband did, too, and we will put it to the test in July when we visit Quebec and meet up with our new friends. In learning French, I discovered how connected it is to English.
The bottom line is that anyone who wants to be creative, can find thousands of ways to do so, and with the world greatly needing everyone’s creative ideas and energy, now is the perfect time to activate yours.
The World Creativity and Innovation Week celebrates creativity of all sorts and empowers individuals to share their everyday creative ideas and to collaborate with others to find answers to problems. Because creative thinkers are able to see problems as opportunities, almost everything has multiple right answers from a creative standpoint.
One of my favorite events posted on the website is the Global Innovation Field Trip (GIFT) which is a 24-hour online multi-national field trip. This World Learning gathering of young innovators celebrates those who educate, inspire and sponsor innovation.
Another, located in California, entitled About Face, is an exhibit of portraits. Since portrait creation dates back 12,000 years, we can learn from these faces, through the ages, what cultures and societies valued and found significant in their time.
My home state, Wisconsin, is sponsoring its annual Create Wisconsin Day, a gathering in Madison of hundreds of people to learn, connect and promote arts, culture, and creativity.
You can check out ways to participate in this celebration and find all listed events at https://wciw.org/
The world is a better place for its diversity of creative minds, and this week of dedicated events stresses how important creativity is. According to an article in Fast Company, we are living in the age of the creative mind. The article discusses eight reasons creatives will rule the world. Michael O. Cooper writes, “Storytelling is paramount in making connections with people and generating enthusiasm for creative innovation. In sharing our stories, we generate empathy and collaborative commitment…”
I steadfastly believe that the stories we tell will always matter. Never doubt that somewhere out there is a reader who needed to read or hear your story for a particular moment in their life. It was your words that mattered and that is why words have power.