Let's continue this week with our discussion of creativity and focus on what I would call weird creativity. What is weird creativity? I'm glad you asked. Weird creativity is so far outside the realm of normal, pretty much as far away as Pluto is from Earth. Yet weird creativity can become normal creativity if you aren't afraid of it when it first shows up. Let me explain.
There is a movie out now called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, based on a novel by a man named Seth Grahame-Smith. The film portrays Lincoln, the U.S. sixteenth president, as someone having a secret identity as a vampire hunter. The novel and film "rewrite" history to show that most of Lincoln's decisions as president were not based on politics but on his desire to destroy vampires.
That's weird creativity.
So what heppened to this weirdness? It is now a best-selling movie and book. Yes,it's up there in the weird hall of fame along with Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup can art, Edgar Allan Poe's morbid stories, the Hummer vehicle and Crocs shoes. Notice what each one of those things has in common: Each one is a commercial, if not spiritual or aesthetic, masterpiece.
Now ask yourself: How often have you had an idea, but dismissed it as "weird"? How often has someone produced something, only to have you say, "I had that idea years ago!" Why didn't you do anything about it? You thought it was weird, you were weird, or you were afraid of the 'weirdness' you would have to go through to make it happen.
So you lost out on your creative expression because you set yourself up as judge and jury of what is weird and what isn't. In the process, you keep getting lapped in the creativity race by those who aren't thinking and are just doing something with their weirdness. You think, they do, you lose.
When you stop to think of it, almost all creativity is weird at first thought. How about bottled water, a phone you can carry with you anywhere, or a computer the size of a wrist watch (anyone remember the comic strip character Dick Tracy?).
So let's make a deal. Take some time this week and focus on an idea you have - the 'weirder' the better. Then spend two hours this week on making it happen, or at least taking a step toward making it happen. You can go to the library, research the Internet, write out a business plan, write the first chapter of the book or the first three poems of your anthology about growing up in Madagascar. Whatever your mind is telling you, "That's weird!" will be your focus for the week. Don't listen to anyone else tell you it's weird, just invest the time into making it a reality.
If a man can 'rewrite' history to portray Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter, then what can you and I produce who are created in the image of God? Should we not be able to produce 'weird' but uplifting stuff? I think we can, but first we have to surrender our desire to judge what's in our heart and take steps to make it happen. Have a great, weirdly creative week!
UPDATE ON BASEBALL FOR KENYA: It looks like I have 6 of the 19 tickets sold for the July 24 baseball game to benefit Kenyan orphans and widows. You can read the latest update here!
NEW BOOK!: My latest book, The Price of Leadership, arrived last Friday. This is a rewrite and revision of my original leadership book entitled, So Many Leaders, So Little Leadership. You can order your copy here.