In response to my question about what have you practiced the most we had some great comments from Lukeh and Nick.
I have been practising to be a good person. It’s an ongoing project that one.
I always practise swimming to get better but I just enjoy being in the water and relaxing with lengths anyway. Then there’s writing too, as I’ve said not too long ago as well as my drawing. General creativity is my biggest long-term practise I’d say.
I think, as you can probably guess, writing is the thing I’ve practiced the longest too, although it comes close with playing guitar (which I no longer do as much). I think I actually started writing lyrics to songs before I learnt to play the guitar. I think LukehMuse has hit the nail on the head with creativity though – before writing I was always making up stories in my head etc. Gill would argue that she’s not creative and wouldn’t be able to write anything, but I think everyone is creative to a certain degree (in cookery, for example).
Nick’s comment about Gill got me thinking about another underrated form of creativity which I’m going to dub “Situational Creativity”. What do I mean by this?
Well, first of all, because I was talking about practicing stuff people immediately leapt to things like writing and drawing etc, and of course the thing people have been practicing for the longest is probably breathing or does that just happen to you? Speech? Language? Comprehension etc. But these are too basic, too broad. But people do understand a wider form of creativity than just the artistic creativity of making or producing something. There is of course creative problem solving, the infamous thinking outside the box. And much as it’s easy to scoff at the terms etc there is some truth to it. Some people are much better at problem solving than others and those people tend to practice problem solving a lot.
But I think people know about that really, what I am thinking of essentially is deciding what to do today. Some people do the same thing every day and get bored, other people do a large number of fixed things on a strict rotational basis and get bored. Other people do those things and don’t get bored I’m sure. But some people are really great at saying, “Ah I know what I’m going to do today, I’m going to call Molly and Simon and we’re going to go to the Zoo. They’ve never met, but they’d get on.”
Now to many of you the person I just described sounds like a nightmare. But this is just an example. An example where Molly loves animals and has been wanting to practice her photography (and doesn’t really know anyone good to teach her). And Simon who just got a new DSLR, is actually pretty good at snapping photos and likes to show off a bit so will be happy to give her some pointers.
This is that friend who phones you and says, “so that was crap, do you want to come over and not talk about it?”.
Creating the situations that we live in, and being creative about them is a skill. It can be something that you do for yourself or others. But there is a skill to it and it is creative, and I think people don’t notice it because the only thing it produces is annoying Facebook wall photos, and lasting friendships.