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  • Writer's pictureKevin Cordi

The Nature of Creativity

I once had a student in my creative writing class and for whatever reason she chose not to be creative in her assignments. When I asked her about it, she replied,

Is it not your job to make me creative?

I wrote this as a response.

There is a major difference between a creative student and a student who waits for creativity to arrive to them.

Creativity is not found in a worksheet, discussion, or even class lecture. It is not found in a poem, dream, or idea. Even if the words are sharp, the dream is vivid, or the idea is grand, creativity will not be the outcome. Instead, it is the creative artist who makes these words work.

It is easy to complain and to watch your words waste away as you sit idle waiting for the creative delivery truck, but no truck will ever arrive.

(Art work created by friend and talented teller/artist Randel McGee based on a story I shared...see more at )

No vehicle will take you to a highway announcing a “creative” destination.

Instead you will be left on the road waiting for something as illusive as a ghost, a wisp of air, or a stranger.

On the road you will not have triple AAA because you won’t know the number for help.

Besides that, you will be lost and alone.

There is no navigation system that will work while waiting for a ghost truck that only existed in the wisp of your mind.

All you will do is wait….and wait…wait.

No assignment by itself is creative. Seeing an inspiring poet or painting an abstract work or dancing with words will never take you to creativity.

Creativity will not come with a set of instructions. No recipe will ever flow from advice or criticism. No words will ever motivate if words is all you hear.

No teacher can make you creative.

No amount of assignments, unique projects, or instruction will enable you to bend your mind, question your thoughts, or advance your work.

Students sit in their seats and think that their teacher can impart creativity, he (or she) can’t.

Students sit at their desks and wait until an assignment reaches out to them and takes them to places unexplored in their minds, but it won’t happen.

Students wait for a teacher to help them see the creativity in a lesson or design, but they wait…and wait..and wait.


Students stand and exclaim their creativity, they will sit and wait…and wait…and wait.

Unless students scream out that they will make the work creative because their blood boils to be creative, they will sit and sit and wait and wait.

Unless a student desires to be creative as much as he or she needs water in their body, they will thirst without ever knowing a clear spring was in their grasp.

Creativity is not a thing, but a way. With each second of each day, you need to find more of the way.

Creativity does not reside in a desk, but like DNA it is a part of us, it is like a limb, or better yet, an organ that if taken away kills the body.

If it resides anywhere, it resides in the heart, that vital organ that keeps pumping to remind us it is alive.

Alive, vibrant, pulsating. No longer waiting, but beating, beating, and beating.

It is there, in that waiting, highways are not found, and ghosts dare not go.

(image by cea +)

Creativity is an organic heart that wants to live, but it is killed each day.

It dies when a student is idle, apathetic, or simply complains without ever trying.

They simply are waiting, waiting, waiting, and waiting.

Can you hear the pumping, that pulsating sound living in you.

Answer it. Answer it.

Creativity will never find you, it. must be explored.

You must find it in your thoughts, your questions, and most of all, your desire to learn.

Listen. Can you hear it beating? A slow rhythm but it speeds when it is excited. When it is alive, most alive, like NASCAR it races. Let it race. The beat has lingered long enough. Answer the need for speed.

a rapid beat, answer it.

Or it will slow down and come to a stop.

And you can wait no more.

I read this to the class. Afterwards, my student approached me after and said “I see.” KC------written in 2004

Be sure to share your ideas. We are listening.

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