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Five Things Creative People Do

1. Live with clutter:

There’s no telling where the supplies for your next masterpiece will come from, so we must keep everything that we think might be valuable. That includes leftovers from the last project, unusual items (like grosgrain ribbon from gifts, etc.) that could be used in a future project, and trinkets that we buy in anticipation of a project that we haven’t even started.

Habits of the highly creative; clutter


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2. Daydream a lot:

We’re always looking for our next opportunity for a creative outlet; plus, we look at things from an odd point of view, which means that often, we are not “plugged in” to what is going on in the moment and socially. So, while in class, in meetings, watching a movie, listening to a conversation, we are often wanting to doodle or write a poem or are conceptualizing our next up-cycling project. We are not hearing what is happening, but we have retreated into our own mental bubble. As the facilitator, teacher, friend who is rambling on, you have to realize that you will need to briefly repeat whatever was the most important part of what was going on for us to get it.

Habits of highly creative people; sleep


3. Like to be alone:

My best ideas come when I have had time to sit and reflect on something in silence and alone. Being alone is not a choice, but an absolute necessity, so that I can allow my mind to receive the signals of my muse. We are not ignoring you or responsibilities, and we don’t hate the world; we just need time to organize the stimuli that we have already received while in the company of others and need time to fashion our next creation.

Habits of highly creative people; likes to be alone


4. Sleep a lot:

Our aforementioned “alone time” has been spent pouring those good creative ideas into our next project, so we need to re-charge our bodies and minds, in order to rejoin the real-world. In order for me to be ready to being sociable again—and not be cranky and snippy—I need a good palate-cleansing nap—or full-day of lounging in and out of naps. If you are in my world, you will appreciate the difference of when I HAVE had that resting time and when I have not. It’s not that we are lazy—because we are constantly creating; it’s just that we have to have a window of time to flush out that current creative project and to recuperate before taking up our people- and deadline-based responsibilities.

Habits of highly creative people; sleep alot


5. We are not loyal:

What I mean by that is that a truly creative individual does not limit him or herself to one medium. We are not simply songwriters, or visual artists, or writers; but we can create strange new culinary dishes; we can do interior decorating; we can cut, color, and style hair… In fact, our creative powers are limitless. (As an example, I had a student who had completed three different unique and creative projects using three different mediums in the course of two school days before she settled on a fourth. She had created a fire as a prop for a video that she was creating; she had written a song (that was actually pretty good lyrically, musically, and she sang it well); and finally, she had written an epilogue to the novel we had read before deciding to work with a small group and create yet another slam poem. I was in awe of her, but it was during this time that I realized that she is, truly, one of us.) Career coach, Emilie Wapnick, calls folks like us "multipotentialites."

Our problem is that we often get stuck doing things that we CAN do and not things we WANT to do. Or we get pigeon-holed by people who want us to continue doing what we did. Or we just plain seem scatterbrain to the people who do not understand us.

Habits of highly creative people; can't decide

Too many interests to choose between

What did I leave out?

If you know of a habit of the highly creative that we have neglected to highlight,

drop us a comment below and we will be sure to add it.


This post was written in honor of my mom (who passed away last year), who was creative and nurtured this creative spirit in me.


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