Can Creativity Be Taught?

by | Aug 28, 2017 | Articles | 0 comments

Have you ever thought about writing a book? Have you written a book?

If the answer to the first question is Yes, but the answer to the second question is No, there might be a few reasons for this. One reason I frequently hear from potential ghostwriting clients is, “Well, I’m just not creative.”

That leads me back to the question in today’s blog headline: Can Creativity Be Taught?

In a word – No.

Now, I’m not trying to stir up controversy here (well, okay, maybe a little), but I firmly believe that creativity can’t be taught. Or, more specifically, you can’t turn a non-creative person into a creative person.

This begs a similar question: Can you turn a non-technical person into a technical person?

Again – No.

However – and this is a big however – you can take a non-technical person and train them to be pretty decent at a technical skill. Case in point, of course, is me. I am not at all technical, but I’ve learned to adapt in an increasingly computerized world. That doesn’t make me a technical person. I’m just not as bad as I used to be.

But Can’t It Be Taught A Little?

Here’s the thing about creativity as a way of life: unlike what we think of as technology, creativity as a way of life can be taught, but not really learned.

What do I mean by that? Well, I can teach some basic strategies to a non-creative person, but they’re not likely to work well for them. Even if they try over and over again to let go, be a channel, and so on, they’re never in a million years going to come up with something as good as what I could knock out in a couple hours.

Why? I can’t really answer that, other than to say I’ll never be a technical person, and they’ll never be a creative person. True creativity – the kind that makes something from nothing, like a novel, a poem, a painting – remains pretty mysterious. Artificial intelligence will never create something as brilliant as Beethoven’s Ninth or The Last Judgment because it can’t.

So yeah, creativity can be taught, sort of…but what good is something that one person can teach but the “right” student can’t learn? A creative student can learn from a good teacher, but a non-creative…ain’t gonna happen.

And that’s why people who say, “I’m going to write a book someday” don’t do it. They can’t. They need help from a professional in this area. Thankfully, there are people like me who can do it for them, with their input, so it feels like their baby…even though I’m the one who wrote it.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section below.

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