People often tell me, “you are so creative.” This is an awesome compliment to receive but one that doesn’t taken into account the whole picture. Why? Because I know how much practice it takes to be creative. Creativity is simply a skill that is developed through consistency, through effort, and through trial. There is an art to creativity and it looks a lot like work. And honestly, anyone can do the work.
When I was a five year old mini with ribbons in my pigtails I loved to make friendship bracelets. Fancy ones with lots of colors. I had a special box that housed my tools and constantly had a bracelet in the works taped to the cover of the box. These friendship bracelets combined with massive amounts of crayons were the origins of my creativity.
Fast forward to ten years ago when my roommate taught me the very basics of knitting. Laura knew how to cast on and knit and then one day after a trip home, she taught me to purl. We made very simple scarves and had to completely rip them apart if we made any mistakes. One night – probably after too much wine – she held up her work in progress and showed off a piece that looked more like the shape of California than an actual scarf. I’ll never forget how hard we laughed.
I owe Laura a huge debt of gratitude. Not only was she an incredibly fun and easy roommate (exactly 2% of women fall into this category!) but she taught me a craft that I fell absolutely and totally in love with. Over the last couple of years as my knitting has become more serious, I have made sweaters, hats, socks, and at least a hundred scarves. In 2014 I taught myself to crochet to expand my yarn wrangling skill set. This year my goal is to expand my color work abilities from simple stripes to fair isle.
If people think I’m creative today, it is only because I have practiced. Just like a musician practices scales. Just like a marathoner runs miles after timed miles. I have practiced because I love it and that practice has rewarded me ten fold. So the next time you think, I’d love to learn to knit but I’m not creative. I challenge you to change that line of thinking. Because with just a little practice, you will surprise yourself.