Reflections at 40 – Creativity – 35/40

To celebrate turning 40, I’ve challenged myself to blog for each of the 40 days leading into my birthday. This is post number 35. You can read all the posts here.


I first started blogging at a seemingly inappropriate time in my life. I had zero ‘spare time’ on my hands and was slowly being crushed by stress and depression.

So, why did I start?

I think it’s because I sensed having a no-pressure, ‘just for me’ creative outlet was just what I needed at the time.

In my day job, I was a graphic designer. You’d think there was ample opportunity for creativity there. But there wasn’t. I was under the pump all the time so I was simply churning out the stuff I knew would work.

Day in, day out. There was never time to try out new ideas, techniques or approaches.

And that was the problem.

More than anything, being creative involves a willingness to try new things. Most of those things don’t work, but that doesn’t matter. The important thing is having an idea, then testing it to see how it lands.

When it doesn’t work, no worries. You move on to the next idea.

When it does work the payoff is two-fold:

  • Internally – a deep sense of satisfaction.
  • Externally – connection with others, usually because the execution of your idea has made their lives better in some meaningful way.

This is why creativity isn’t limited to the arts, (obvious things like writing and painting).

Creativity comes into play when you pull together a functional lunch box for your kids from an empty fridge and pantry.

It’s taking a different route when you go for a run.

It’s brokering a deal with a supplier to pay a bill in instalments to avoid cash flow issues in your business.

My friend Dan says, “If I’m feeling in a rut, normally writing a blog post or working on designs for a project, or making something around the house will make me good again.”

Another friend, Malini, says creativity saved her life.

I’m definitely with Dan. Whenever I feel a bit at sea, I try to make something. It can be as expansive as a blog post, as trite as an Instagram meme or as left-field (for me) as trying a new recipe.

I’ve actually found I can largely avoid ever having to deal with that ‘at sea’ feeling simply by ensuring I create something every day.


Think you’re not creative and the above isn’t available to you? I’ll leave you with these thoughts from Liz Gilbert.

Forget creativity.

Just be curious.

Because …

What is creative living?

It’s any life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than fear.


Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash