If I asked you to think of someone who was wildly, prolifically creative, who would spring to mind? You might think of a friend or someone you know of online, but you might also think of world famous names like Beethoven and da Vinci, or flamboyant creatives like Oscar Wilde or Vivienne Westwood. There’s a suggestion or an implication of size, of drama.

It’s easy to assume that creativity means large and loud, that it’s in your face or eye catching or noisily attention seeking. Perhaps that’s partly why so many people think they’re not creative. ‘I could never be like that’, you might think. All that drama and pomp and circumstance. All that noise and attention seeking. All that having to SHOW and talk about it. No thanks.

I have what more or less amounts to a phobia of being the centre of attention. The thought of a spotlight fills me with unmitigated horror and various horrible physical symptoms. When it’s time to do that ‘introduce yourself’ thing in group situations it’s not much of an exaggeration to say I start inwardly having a panic attack and wishing I could run away as it gets closer to my turn.

It’s one of the reasons I like the internet; I can do what I love and send it out in the world, and people can enjoy it if they want to, without any necessity for spotlights or speaking in front of groups while having secret internal panic attacks and wanting to run away.

So I’m very quiet. I’m introverted to a degree that tips into hermit-like. I usually don’t wear or decorate with loud colours {I just paint with them :) }, I don’t schmooze or network in my local area or actively show my paintings any more. I don’t socialise at all. I try not to use the word ‘never’, but I can’t see myself ever welcoming a spotlight in any form.

And yet I’m creative every single day of my life, in some way or other. I might even go as far as to say I’m wildly and prolifically creative. Sometimes I’m painting or drawing or making something, sometimes I’m being creative in the kitchen, or writing, or gardening, or growing my ideas with creative thinking or mind maps, or finding imaginative solutions to things, or creating courses, or taking photos and editing them. Quietly, in fact usually privately. Yes I do share my work, but on my own terms, and really in a very small pocket of the world.

It’s unlikely that I’ll ever be famous. {Thank god.} But that doesn’t mean I can’t be wildly and extravagantly creative in my day to day life, in ways both large and tiny. It doesn’t make what I create any less valuable. Including the things that no one but me ever sees or knows about.

I might not be a creative genius like Mozart or da Vinci, but I also don’t have to be ‘out there’ and well known to feel successful and satisfied by my creativity. And neither do you. Perhaps you’re a bit like me and just want to Do Your Thing without any fanfare, and all this is very obvious to you. But if there’s any part of you that feels like your creativity is limited or somehow lacking because you don’t want to {literally or otherwise} make a song and dance about it, let this be permission and a reminder that it’s still just as essential in the world, whether we know about it or not.

How do you feel about this? Do you welcome a bit of a spotlight on your creative endeavours, or do you prefer to keep the main focus on your own creative satisfaction? Or both?! I’d love to know your take on this – please share your thoughts in the comments!

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