Creativity: Does the Message Choose the Medium?

I've been creating things for as long as I can remember.  

When I was a girl, I would sit in my room and dream up stories.  I would develop characters, and draw their outfits in my journal.  I started drawing at a very young age, and took art classes all the way through grad school (and even now I take an occasional non-credit class).  I spent most of my 20's decorating cakes.  It was a borderline obsession.  Yes, I enjoyed every minute of it, but there was always something more at stake than just decorating a cake.  I decorated those cakes like my life depended on it.  I do the same thing now with writing.  I love it so much that I don't mind spending hours working on a single blog post (sometimes a single paragraph).  I want to get it just right.

Creating things is just a part of who I am.  

And its a part of who you are too.

We're all meant to create things in this life.  We're designed to have meaningful ideas and to share them to make this world a better place.  Creativity isn't reserved for just a few of us, it's here for us all.  And there are just as many expressions of our creativity as there are people to express it.  There's no right or wrong way to do it, as long as it gets done.

I often wonder what prompts a person to channel their creativity in a certain way.  Why do writers choose to write fiction vs. fantasy or non-fiction, why do painters paint, and sculptors sculpt?  Do they experiment with several different mediums until they find the one they like best, or do they just pick one and run with it?  Do they stumble upon the perfect outlet or do they know all along?  For me, all of my creative energy seems to come from the same place, and I often struggle with choosing the best way to express it.  If I have an intense emotion or something that I need to put out there, do I write about it or do I paint it?  And if I choose to paint it, do I use watercolor or acrylic and what becomes my canvas?  I’m curious if others face this same dilemma. 

What I have found over time, though, is that the important thing is not HOW you express your creativity, but simply that you do it.  Any expression will do.  And after a while, you will start to develop your own personal outlets.  You'll find your preferred medium.  And, like me, your medium may change over time.  I still love to draw and decorate cakes, but right now, my creative expression is primarily through my writing.

I've learned that for me, my medium does tend to change with my message.  I've been guarding and protecting my creativity since I was a child, allowing it to transform and adjust and bend as necessary in order to keep it alive throughout all of the random and varied phases of my life.  And that's good enough for me.  That's really all I can do; just keep a space for my creativity in my life, no matter where I find myself.

So now I have a question for you.  I would love it if you'd leave a comment below and tell me the following:

1.  What creative project are you working on right now?  (It could be anything... a new recipe... a beautiful garden... a piece of jewelry... a business venture)  What is your preferred medium for creative expression?

3.  How will you share this creation with the world?

If you're not currently working on a creative project, then tell me this:  if you could create anything your heart desired, what would it be?  And what is keeping you from getting started? 

I can't wait to hear about all of the great things that you guys are up to!

Till next time,


© Haley McManigal 2015

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Photo Credit:  © Hannu Viitanen |