Where does Creativity Hide?
I agree with Amy Tan that creativity is ambiguous. Trying to understand and harness creativity is as daunting as scaling a skyscraper. However, I feel that Amy Tan gave informative insight into the creative process.
A myth in our society is that you are either born creative, or you are not. Those who are born with creativity are blessed to be artists and philosophers with natural talent. This is true to an extent, but this conclusion is a way to diminish one’s own creativity. When society tells you that you either got it or you don’t, one doubts their own ability and locks the potential creativity, that we’re all born with, away in a lockbox never to be seen again. Creativity is not just something one is born with; it is a skill one can practice and improve with effort. This is where Amy Tan’s insight into the creative process comes in.
Tan never thought herself as creative, and didn’t even excel in the arts, but became a successful author later in life. This is attributed to the fact that she explored the possibility of ambiguity. Some people, who consider themselves non-creative types, might squirm when looking into the void. The vast, unknowable everything. The clock that makes the world tick. This is natural. There’s fear in the unknown, so some don’t even think about it; but Amy Tan did. When exposed to death early in life, she questioned. She continued questioning. Then she questioned again. That, to me, is a part of the creative process. Questioning and digging deeper into the unknown to find something new. Perhaps this could be a new idea or a new way of doing things. It’s impossible to predict until one jumps into the void. I don’t think that Amy Tan covered the entirety of all the paths that can be taken during the creative process, but I believe this was a good start for the TED talk; it was an especially excellent jumping off point for writers.