I have never actually considered myself to be a creative person, if you can believe it. I am a teacher, and that involves a lot of creativity, but as a performer, well, I am a performer. I don’t go around writing piano solos – I merely play other people’s creative works.
But in college, my piano teacher disagreed with me. It’s one kind of creativity to create an original piece of music, but there is a different kind of creativity required to interpret someone else’s original piece of music, practice it and perfect, and then perform it and make it your own. My college piano teacher is a highly intelligent woman, and so I won’t disagree with her, and I guess I am a creative person after all.
And after reading this article from the Creativity Post, I do feel a bit more like I fall into the “creative” category. There is absolutely a routine (or a ritual) involved in preparing oneself to perform.
I don’t think I have ever fallen onto the ‘ritual’ side of the argument – for myself, practicing piano is a routine, but what is the difference between a routine and a ritual anyway? If I wake up every morning, go to the bathroom, take care of my dog, fix myself a cup of tea and play the piano for an hour, isn’t that a ritual? Or is it just a routine?
And routines and rituals aren’t just for us creative types, either. Everyone has a “zone” that they can get to when they work. You know, being “in the zone,” and getting a ton of work done, whether it’s writing, painting, accounting, or sales. Do you get there out of routine or with a ritual? Do you have to create a space for yourself? Or can it happen anywhere, at any time?