If there is a list of the worst opening sentences for a book, this would probably rank somewhere in the top ten:
You already know everything in this book.
…or at least you did know it, probably without even being conscious of it. You already know (or knew) how you can be more creative. There is a good chance you once were more creative, just as you are designed to be. Chances are you applied everything I am about to describe, at least as a kid. And if you can’t remember that but you just happen to have small children of your own, you probably see everything we will discuss every day. Everything you will read here next will feel very familiar because it is an integral part of how all humans are designed.
So why bother writing (and for that matter reading) something so trivial that everyone knows it already? First, because although we know or once knew how to be creative intuitively, as adults, most people believe they are not creative, and that Creativity is a gift saved for just a handful of people. As we will soon see, we indeed become less and less creative as we grow up, not because we lose our capability to be creative, but due to external factors and conflicting forces. I find it essential to remind ourselves what we are capable of doing creatively and how easy it is to regain these abilities. And while the ideas we will discuss are not new, I didn’t find a simple, coherent model that could describe what makes us creative in the broadest sense possible — a model that can help us understand how to regain and master our Creativity.
My second goal is as important. If you wish to realize your creative potential, it is not enough to read the theory. As familiar or intuitive as the concepts in this book will sound to you, it will not help you be even a bit more creative if you don’t apply them. That is why every idea we will discuss is accompanied by a clear action plan that you can start implementing today to practice, develop, and master your Creativity. If you are committed to the goal of realizing your Creativity, you will find here the essential first steps in that journey.
Now, please allow me to tell you a bit about myself…
Once upon a time, there was a kid who was pretty sure he wasn’t creative. It’s not like he had low self-esteem or anything like that. It was just something he knew about himself, just like he knew his height was average. This kid had friends that made astounding drawings, but he never managed to draw a straight line. He had friends playing music, but he never learned to play any musical instrument. Some of his classmates were dancing, or singing, or acting. He didn’t feel the urge to do any of that. He was not good with tools, and so he never built anything he could proudly show to someone. Oh, he did occasionally create a mixtape for friends and family. He loved doing that, but to him, that was just one more proof he could never really create something he could call his own.
Two decades passed before I discovered I could express myself with photography. I liked what I managed to create, and a few other people seemed to like it as well. In parallel, I was also a Software Developer and then a Quality Manager, which seems quite a step backward in terms of Creativity, but as we will soon discuss, it isn’t really. And then, I created seempli with the ambitious goal to help anyone on the planet realize their creative potential. Which is quite a journey for someone who “knew” he didn’t have even an ounce of Creativity in him.
This book is the result (or at least one of the results) of this journey. It captures what I learned and realized in the past fifteen years. It is based on my experience, my take on the experience of others, and many resources with excellent insights and ideas that I felt just had to be combined into one simple model — a model I call: The Creativity Operating System.
In a sense, The Creativity Operating System is the underlying architecture of seempli. However, seempli was not derived from my understanding of the Creativity Operating System. In fact, my insights about how creativity works were (and still are) derived from working on and with seempli every day for the past four years. My own creation helped me understand better how Creativity works and how it can be mastered.
If you happen to come across The Creativity Operating System while it is in the works, your feedback would mean the world to me. If you could spare two minutes to share your thoughts with me after reading a post (or hopefully more than one), I might just be able to fine-tune this work on the fly. This is the primary reason I am sharing this work in progress.
OK. The best way to start is to jump right in.
Here we go.