But I’m Not Creative… and Tomato Basil Tart

But I’m Not Creative… and Tomato Basil Tart

Saturday night, my friend stops by to drop her daughter off for a sleepover with my girls. She knows we are having a late dinner {after a spontaneous ice cream dinner-spoiler at 5 p.m.}, so they enter my kitchen as I’m in full dinner prep.

I tell them about the unusual dinner I’m making — chilled cucumber soup and tomato basil tart — and then promptly offer my friend a glass of white wine and escort her to the deck, as the kids romp in the yard. As we sit and talk, I excuse myself several times for various steps in the complex pastry process.

My friend seems skeptical. Is it really worth it, she wonders out loud? I assure her that, yes, it is, and tell her this is a family tradition, this late-summer combination of buttery, flaky dough with fresh mozzarella, of pungent basil with tomatoes at their peak.

At the same time, I notice her plucking dried leaves and spent blooms from a red geranium plant on my deck railing. She apologizes that she can’t help herself. It’s a gardener’s habit. And, I appreciate that, her different view of the world. Just as I’ve passed that plant scores of times without noticing its dried leaves, she would probably skim right past that tart recipe with the crazy-involved crust.

We women are all deliciously different.  We approach our lives in fresh and creative ways that don’t look the same, but that enrich our surroundings just the same  — even when we’re doing something as simple as making dinner or tending annuals.

You see, I believe creativity comes in all kinds of packages, not just those perfectly wrapped ones our culture presents us. I believe we all have creativity within us, and we all express that in beautiful and singular ways — that may, in fact, look quite different than what we’ve been conditioned to believe.

Since I began writing about creativity back in May, I’ve been amazed at the number of women who feel deeply uncomfortable with the word “creative.” They protest: But, I’m not creative!

See if you identify with any one of these reasons.

Four Reasons You May Think You’re Not Creative:

1. Someone told you that once.
For you, creativity may be a painful reminder of the past when you ventured forth and were hurt. Perhaps you were told outright you weren’t talented. Or maybe it was more gradual, and, over time, your creative self withered from fear and lack of encouragement.

2. You work or are gifted in a supposedly “non-creative” field – math, science, law, etc.
You’re probably like my friend, Gindi, a logical thinker and super-organized lawyer {who’ll be guest posting here next week}. You possess stereotypically left-brain skills, so you think there’s no way you can be creative too.

3. You like to create, but you think you’re not good enough to be called creative. You think that label’s reserved for famous people who make a living at their art. You attach lots and lots of modifiers to the word creative. For you {see Elise’s post}, “creative” doesn’t mean painting little boxes to sell at craft shops; instead, it’s publishing novels or selling your work in a New York City gallery.

4. You don’t enjoy {what you think are} “creative” endeavors – such as painting, composing music, writing poetry. You know all too well how the world defines the word creative, and in no way does it resemble you.

And, here’s the thing. We all have a sense of what Creative with a Capital C means. Give yourself a moment to jot down a phrase or example of what you think “creative” means.

Now, let’s compare that to Webster’s. The dictionary defines creative as:

1. Marked by the ability or power to create: given to creating.
2. Having the quality of something created, rather than imitated.

I don’t know about you, but this definition surprised me. It doesn’t say creative people must achieve renown. It doesn’t say you can’t be equally skilled in science. It doesn’t say you have to possess a certain set of abilities. It simply says creative people create.

Creativity is defined as ability, pure and simple. We are all marked by the power to create. <—-Click to Tweet!

Be sure to tune in next week for Gindi’s personal creativity story. Don’t want to miss a post? Subscribe and get new posts delivered to your inbox.

Which of the four creativity myths do you relate to the most?

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  1. We discovered Tomato tart-or as we like to call it Tomato Pie-last year and LOVE it! Yes, it is definitely worth the time! It’s also worth the time to find what gets your own creative juices flowing. We each are “creative”in our own ways. I think it’s bc of our cleverly crafty creative creator 🙂
    Alecia recently posted..Prayer For My Birthday BoyMy Profile

  2. We are all marked by the power to create because we are made in our Creator’s image. And when I consider His creative expressions, I know that I have a vast supply of new ideas and beautiful images to draw upon daily. Maybe I’m not achieving fame by the little or even the big that He does through me, but I’m still, as you’ve so eloquently said here, Elizabeth Anne, creative. Inspiring message, my friend!

  3. He he he… That’s me! Mrs. Non-creative! I tell you that all the time. I have the craft room in my house, but I don’t do crafts. And then it became a playroom for the kids. And now we just let the bunny run around in it… I guess I would identify with #2. But I do like Websters definition! Perhaps I can find ways to feel crafty with that! 🙂

  4. The funny thing is…you did inspire me to make cucumber soup, homemade rosemary focaccia bread, and roasted tomatoes. Didn’t have time for the steps of your tart…but the girl really wants me to try it, and I will! You have to give me the recipe:) Though as I mentioned….my soup couldn’t hold a candle to yours!

  5. So glad I took the challenge…I had gotten way out of touch with what creating is all about. We are all creators…part of how we’re made in the Head Creator’s image. Can we have your recipe? I finally have my tomaotoes ripening on the vine…along with overripe basil!!
    Elise Daly Parker recently posted..The Day I Said Goodbye to My Youngest ChildMy Profile

  6. I think I’ve always believed that I’m not good enough. At many things. But I love what you say here, Elizabeth, and find it so encouraging. But mostly I just want that tart recipe 😉
    laura recently posted..RememberMy Profile


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