When we talk about van Gogh, we talk about him as a painter. But van Gogh was also an avid writer.
Michelangelo, the great Renaissance artist, is known primarily for his paintings and sculptures, but he too was known for writing often and doodling imaginary inventions in the notes of his books.
It should come as no surprise that creative people tend to create. But there’s more to being creative than simply creating.
What is about this apparent association between those who are viewed as being “creative” and their seemingly endless ability to create in one form or another?
Creativity is certainly not caused by the act of writing or doodling. But simply being able to think creatively isn’t a reason to write or doodle either. There’s more to the connection than that.
Routine creation in any form is representative of a much deeper and complex thing: rumination.
Because ideas are intangible, hard to wrangle or express, and too ambitious for much to be done with them, we seek for ways to turn them into more solid representations. Doodling, writing, and even thinking out loud are effective ways of making those same ideas easier to manage, manipulate, and share.
It’s no wonder why those who reflect creativity tend to be drawn to these types of thought-unloading, expressive, exploratory activities.
For those of us who tend to ruminate more often than others, any type of expression or mental unloading becomes almost a necessity.
The link between doodling, drawing, learning new skills, and being creative is an underlining one. We pursue those activities because they help us to better explore our thoughts and attack our curiosities.
Similar to why following the routine of Einstein isn’t going to make you smarter, doodling or writing often because you heard that van Gogh or Michelangelo did so won’t make you a more creative thinker.
What causes creativity remains outside of these habits. Creativity is caused by curiosity, exploration, mindfulness, resourcefulness, and a slew of other traits.
The doodling, writing, singing, and all that are merely reflective of the level of creativity an individual has.
To be more creative, then, don’t worry so much about how you’re expressing yourself, only that you’re putting enough inspiration into your head (and thinking about it often enough) to make the drive for unloading it all seem almost unbearable.