Today, I spent my morning with three groups of teenagers. I was giving some workshops around the subject of creativity as part of a careers day at a local comprehensive school. It was great fun.
One thing struck me, though. When given the opportunity to create an idea (any idea – no immediate answers are wrong or right when it comes to being creative) quite a few of the kids struggled. And they were paralysed by the blank page.
As a person who is often tasked with filling blank pages, I know that feeling. And I know how to get over it. You start. That’s all. Make a mark. Write a word. Anything that stops it being a blank page. And then you build from there through conversation, iteration and weird tangents.
And once I’d shown these students that making a start is all it takes, it was darn hard to stop them after 15 minutes of thinking.
I like to think that some of them are sitting at home right now starting something. They’ve seen that being creative isn’t about being wacky, or brainy or arty, or any number of words these kids told me they associated with creative people.
It’s about getting some fuel, starting, and then carrying on.