Creativity is the ability to make connections.
I have read WordPress blogs that describe the writers exasperation that creativity is unpredictable, demanding and appears at inconvenient moments. Have you dealt with babies and toddlers? Creativity is like a baby; you would nurture and play with a baby, never handcuff it to a pipe and lock it in a cupboard.
I define creativity as the ability to make connections. Creativity is the third great need of all life, be it to reproduce or make poetry. Creativity is a living force, with the mind of a baby, and the characteristic of water. Creativity may one day flow gently like a spring, or rush forward like a waterfall. I observe creativity to be messy, chaotic and impulsive.
The picture is a Colchester statue; you are the parent, the baby is your creativity, and the cage bars are the attempts by you or society to control or suppress your creativity. Try grabbing water by your hands, and it flows out of your hands; you are unable to hold creativity, but you can imprison it in a bucket, where it will stagnate, becoming diseased. So it is with creativity, imprisoned, controlled and suppressed the vitality of creativity is lost and you become sick.
Play is another name for creativity. Children grow through play. Deny the child the opportunity to play, then they turn into socially, stupid and inept adults. Denying children from the age two onwards play, instead subjecting them to a straitjacket of intellectual learning and testing, kills creativity, kills the child. Do this to the adult, you get the same result.
Creativity will happen anywhere and anytime. You have a choice to cage creativity or let it flow. You can be in a business meeting, watching a movie or going to sleep; creativity will come at the most awkward of times, and demands release. Great discoveries are made because of creativity: August Kekulé discovered the molecule structure of the benzene molecule whilst daydreaming in front of a fire, when he dreamed a snake bite its own tail; Albert Einstein came to his theory by travelling in trams on light beams in his imagination; Nikola Tesla came upon many discoveries because of his ability to visualise.
Creativity cares nothing for the moment, or person, or circumstance; it shoves an idea in front of the nose, then cares nothing with what happens to that idea. I am no doctor or great scientific expert; but I make connections from patterns. Nobody would listen to someone such as I if I gained an insight that could create a revolution; what right has a nobody to suddenly come up with a proposal against bird flu? H5N1 kills because the immune system overreacts to the virus causing the victim to drown in the froth in their own lungs. I was studying radon gas yesterday, and I noted it suppresses the immune system; thus the creative connection is made to stick an H5N1 sufferer into a cave with radon gas in it; the gas may suppress the killer H5N1 symptoms fast, in addition may kill the virus too. Short doses of radon gas is fine, long term it causes lung cancer. Will I make anything of this idea? Probably not, but that is how creativity works, wrong person, wrong time.