I think everyone has the capacity to be creative, but if you listen to some pundits it seems creativity is something only bestowed on an elite few.
The fact is, the word “creativity” itself can cause a lot of creative resistance, and make people feel that the bar has been set too high for them.
Relax. Being creative does not mean you have to be the next Shakespeare or Leonardo Da Vinci!
In fact, I imagine you don’t have a creativity problem at all.
Creativity is not scarce
What does creativity mean to us in this context? For most people the goal would be to create something that is …
When talking about apps, content, and media, of course creativity is rewarded. We absolutely want the new and the shiny.
This does not mean, however, that you have to be a creative genius, just that you have to deliver something (hopefully of value) that your audience has not seen before.
In the new media world you don’t even have to be entirely brand new, just different enough that people find it worth looking into.
How to make something original
At this point you might be thinking how difficult it is to come up with something that has not been done before, but the key part is it only has to be new to your audience. So, first, if it is new to your audience then it is new enough.
Most of my best content ideas come from my customers, directly or indirectly. This article came out of a conversation with Robert (you should check out his blog, by the way) where we were talking about SEO. In most cases if you can answer a question that someone has emailed you, asked in a Q&A or posted to a forum, then there is sufficient desire for an answer and they haven’t been able to easily find the answer in Google. So go for it!
The second point is probably the most important for how you are going to stand out it a crowd. Nobody else has your experience, your personality or your stories. They are unique to you. Globally unique.
Lastly, most creativity is built on the shoulders of giants. Many creative works that we admire are actually based on older ideas combined with something else to make them new. Your favourite films and novels are most likely based on the Monomyth, for example.
I’m not writing this to downplay the importance of creativity but to encourage you to not hold back just because you don’t think you have ideas that are creative enough.
When you combine your unique stories with a point, fact, news item or lesson that your particular target audience might not have heard before, then you have something interesting and original to share.
Of course then when you package that all together with great visual or copywriting techniques, such as a compelling headline, then you can really help your ideas spread.
I’ve never met anyone yet who couldn’t be sufficiently creative, so don’t doubt yourself. Get out there and create!