My mother told me a story that says a lot about my particular brand of creativity.
I was 18 months old, more or less, and was strapped into a carseat in the back of our old Dodge Dart. Mom was driving, it was just her and me. We passed by a McDonalds restaurant.
From the backseat, my mom heard me sing (apropos of nothing), “Ee-Eye-Ee-Eye-Oh.”
That’s E-I-E-I-O, as in “Old MacDonald had a farm”. I was not extraordinarily verbal at that time, and yet I had just made a huge mental leap. In an instant I had processed all this — Golden Arches > McDonalds > Like that farmer, Old MacDonald > And his song > “EIEIO!”.
This moment struck her enough that she told me about it later, when I was in my 20’s. This story made me laugh, because it’s exactly how I think today.
Creativity, Connections, and Common Sense
I realize that the connections I make in everyday conversation aren’t completely obvious. Often my mind will spin off in a different direction from the discussion. Hilarious scenarios play out in my head. I giggle. People look at me askance. I realize I’ve got some serious explaining to do…a kind of internal “You had to be there…” moment.
When I’m suddenly very far away from the matter at hand, I usually keep it to myself. It’s not something that plays well, but I get to enjoy the quiet dramas in my head. It’s not a bad way to amuse yourself, to be honest.
Writing comes naturally to me, in part because I realize that there are infinite ways to get it done (and that doesn’t bother me!) Ask me to express something 10 different ways? No problem. I can spin off in directions that are obvious, and others that are real head scratchers. Somewhere in the middle is probably the sweet spot.
So let’s go! Let’s get creative together.