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.

Indie Authors & Literary Fiction

Back in July, I posted an interview with fellow indie author Jay Lemming.  Jay has a terrific ongoing project simply called “Survey: Indie Writers of Literary Fiction.” In his survey, he asks fellow lit fiction authors about one of their novels, and in particular,...
forget

Writers, Don’t Forget to Write It Down!

It's happened to the best of us, right? You have a great idea, and you really should write it down. After all, you don't want to forget it. But it's well past midnight, and you're in bed. In fact, you're getting sleepy...very sleepy...your eyes are starting to --...
spiritual

Do You Have An Interest in the Spiritual?

Today’s post is the second of a three-part series I’m creating on some of my personal interests. Last week, I wrote about metaphysics; this week, I’m writing about spirituality; and next week, I’ll be writing about music.Of course, the metaphysical and spiritual are...

Five Mistakes New Authors Make

Every author starts as a newbie, even if they held a job as a writer in some other capacity. The publishing business can be incredibly daunting for a newcomer: many authors work alone without much feedback, so their mistakes, while understandable, are also far too...
epic launch

An Epic Launch

Today, the SEO overlords may punish me for posting something overly short. But that's okay. Because I had an epic launch this weekend. "Epic launch" is a phrase I've had in my head for a few weeks now. You see, as the publication date for Whizzers drew closer and...
Sahno

Let’s Get Personal: Why Do I Write?

I’ve been on a marketing campaign for the past couple of weeks, and missed my deadline for this blog last Monday…so I just plain skipped a week. Those of you who know me are probably a bit surprised. I’m pretty particular about getting things done on time. I’ve always...
storm

Sometimes All You Can Do Is Rock With The Storm

A while back, I was having a very bad Monday, and wrote a blog post called Roll With The Punches, Baby! The idea was that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose; sometimes life hands you a bouquet of flowers, other times, a punch in the mouth. On that particular...

Lyrics: Why I Write Them, and Why I’ve Put Them Into My Novels

Today's post might look like a lazy man's blog, because I'm copying and pasting lyrics into it from other sources. But the fact is, lyrics have always played an important role not only in my life, but also in my novels. I never gave this much thought until recently,...

All the News

It's been crazy busy for me lately, and this blog got neglected because Monday - my normal blog post date - was the 4th of July holiday. I know, I should have worked anyway, right? Isn't that what everyone does these days? Work any day and every day? Well, the heck...
platform

Platform-Building for Authors

A while back, I wrote a LinkedIn article on platform-building for authors, a frequent topic for my speaking gigs and for online posts in general. Today I thought I'd revisit some of that for the blog, discussing how speaking can help an author. Building a platform...