Can You Run Out of Creativity?

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou

I’ve been questioning myself about creativity. I wonder how long I can go on until I have no more ideas left.

In short, I ask myself whether I might face a day when I’d be completely squeezed out and fail to spring up with anything worthy. For now, that day isn’t arriving any sooner.

A myth I believed about creativity

“I thought we possess limited creativity. I regarded creativity as some commodity that could be used up. But well, I was wrong.”

I know that creativity has no end, but it took me long enough to realize that it isn’t a finite thing. It’s not like the coins in a treasure that can get used up. Neither is it like a well that can run dry.

Instead, creativity is like a plant that requires nurturing and care. It needs to be looked after so that it grows and flourishes and bears its fruits.

Sure, it may wither and die some days, but then it’s born again from the old seeds. It goes on and on and on, endlessly.

In short, if you ever fear or worry about the fact that you might end up using all your beautiful ideas and won’t be able to come up with new ones, then relax, because that’s most unlikely to happen.

Instead, when you put in more work, the easier it becomes for you to refine your craft. Your maturity as a creative person only grows when you harness your skills. So put aside your worries, stop being so reluctant to share ideas, and have the courage to create all that you’re capable of.

I held myself back from becoming “too creative,” so that I wouldn’t go blank. Now that I look back, it doesn’t seem like a smart move.

In fact, it seems crazy to imagine that I was preventing myself from creating what I thought had the potential of being good enough.

I’ve been taking some steps to ensure that I let myself produce the work I can be proud of (without having to worry about losing my creativity in the process).

I’m hoping that these thought-nuggets would help somebody out there who is struggling with maintaining a constant pace of creativity.

  1. Use up your creativity. You’ll be even more creative when you persist, grow and give what you can.
  2. Don’t save your finest thoughts. Instead, use up what you’ve got – and use it while you can.
  3. Ideas aren’t everything. Remember that success is much more about the execution rather than what you know.
  4. Do more. That’s how you discover your flaws, strengths, and capabilities that matter.
  5. Empty yourself. Pour out all the ideas you have, become hollow, and then wait to be filled with a new imagination.
  6. Create. Regardless of whether your work is good or bad. Eventually, you’d learn your lessons.
  7. Drop perfection. For now, be honest with your work, put in the sweat, and ship regularly.
  8. Push yourself. Work on your creativity when you feel empty. Invent ways to improve.
  9. Be a little better. Each day, bit by bit, focus on becoming slightly better than what you were yesterday.
  10. Welcome randomness. Don’t stay the same, shake your world, and step beyond what you already know.

To boil it all down, your creativity blooms when you realize the possibilities (and improbabilities) around you and imagine without restricting yourself within the limits you create.

Sometimes, the reason why we fail to be creative turns out to be really simple: We don’t let ourselves be creative.

For now, set yourself free, give up your assumptions and create all that you’re capable of. As for creativity, it’ll gradually follow.