Creativity Is Not Enough

Everyone loves emphasizing the importance of creativity to get things done; artists, designers, writers, content creators, photographers, even marketers. All of these people and the job they do is dependent on the single skill of creativity. And that obviously makes sense, because creation needs creativity; how else are you going to get a painting done right, or take that one perfect shot, or come up with that one piece of content that will attract people if you’re not creative? But the question is, is it really all that’s needed? Is creativity the only thing that gets things done?

Sure, it’s important when you want to come up with unique ideas or create something that will attract a huge audience and make your content go viral. But what about the days when creativity isn’t available? Because anyone who works in the creative field knows how easy it is to go through a creative block, especially if you’re required to come up with unique material day-in, day-out.

And when you go through this block, how are you going to come up with new content? Or do you give up entirely? Is that even an option? So, here comes the statement, creativity is simply not enough to get your job done. You need a lot more than that. For you to be capable of achieving your goals, it’s essential that you have discipline, motivation, a good incentive to keep you going, and proper, realistic goals.

The Creativity-Motivation dilemma

The obvious answer, when you’re lacking creativity, is that motivation is what makes you go forward in such cases. You don’t need to be creative to get your urgent tasks done, you just need a proper incentive to keep pushing yourself forward. It initiates and guides your actions, and allows you to adopt a goal-oriented behavior that you will otherwise lack if faced with a creative block.

Since simply being creative doesn’t mean you’ll feel inclined to work on your goals; you need something more, something that pushes you to face the obstacles in your way and helps you get things done, and motivation is that force that will aid you in this process. And you need plenty of it to get through the block of creativity you’ve come face to face with.

So it’s settled, right? You lack creativity, so you take help from motivational forces to take you forward. But… what if motivation doesn’t work either? Now, there’s an even bigger issue, you’re facing a huge creative block, and you don’t even have the motivation to get yourself through.

Why wouldn’t motivation work? Because being simply creative doesn’t promise a practical solution, and unless you’re motivated to work on said practical solution, your motivation is only just limited to being creative, and anything that comes after it becomes a source of exhaustion for you.

So is creativity really the answer?

Having read all the dilemmas being faced by working in the creative industry, it’s vital to ask whether creativity even is all that important when it comes to getting things done? A lot of people, so-called creative people, fall short of performing when it comes to actually delivering something. Since their job was so focused on coming up with an abundance of ideas, they forget to actually research how it’s going to be presented on paper. The implementation part seems ‘boring’ and ‘bland’ to them and demotivates them from doing something productive out of all the huge plans they just presented. Not to mention the impending creative block that’s always an underlying threat.

To explain the above point, let’s take an example of a designer who only limits themselves to making creatives. When it comes to other marketing aspects of that creative, such as delivering it on social media or explaining their idea properly, they diffuse that responsibility on other people they deem should be doing those tasks.

And that seems like the right course of action too, doesn’t it? But compare that with a social media executive, who doesn’t only require a creative, they also research into how it should be designed, delivered, and optimized to become viral among their audience. Not only this, they might even take a few design training classes to make their own creatives for when another source isn’t available to design them.

Which of these was solely creative, and which went a step ahead and innovatively presented their creative idea? It’s not about the department they’re working in, sometimes the scenario can be entirely opposite.

The actual problem

It’s not that creativity is unimportant; it’s vital, mandatory in fact. It’s true that every organization needs creative people or sessions where every worker shares their creative ideas for new projects and strategies that can help the organization grow. The real problem where creativity seems to fall short is when those that are full of ideas fail to recognize the problems being faced by the organization that needs immediate focus.

What’s needed is a system that regulates these ideas to become part of realistic strategies to solve current problems being faced by a company instead of just a stream of thoughts that lack an end goal.

What’s entailed here? That there should be proper SOPs in place to make every creative worker understand the immediate needs of the organization, and the resources available to them. So that whatever idea is brought forward is aligned with how it’s going to be approached not just by the entire team but also by the person who is presenting the idea into the mainstream. That is, the manpower, cost, risks compared to benefits, and time, etc, are everything where information is needed to make a creative thought into reality.

Not only is this more responsible, but it’s also more convenient for the organization to reach this goal rather than something that only adds a burden to a company’s work environment.

Every creative idea is important, but those ideas are also useless unless used and implemented properly. Motivation isn’t the only thing enough to make this process aligned. What’s needed is a realistic set of goals associated with every idea, so that it can be made into a plan and an achievable one at that. And to do all of this, one needs to have a sense of discipline to make their ideas come to life. Not only will this make it easier for a person to achieve their creative goals, but it will also lead to success for the person individually as well as for the company they’re working for.

Just look at the example given above of the designer and social media executive. Which one will lead their career to grow in a company and which one is going to feel burned out sooner rather than later and start thinking their work isn’t leading to their growth? That’s where you find the answer to why creativity is not enough.

Maha Abdul Rehman

A content writer and a psychology major, I procrastinate for 6 months or write consecutively. And I occasionally watch (see: obsess about) Football.

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