Fruitful, generative, cultivating…Alternatives to the terms creative and creativity
September 14, 2013 7 Comments
Why am I looking for alternatives to the terms creative and creativity?
- Because the history of creative begins with a divine power is what creates, which leads to a divinely given power (e.g., “genius” or “spark”) is involved in being creative (see Keywords by Raymond Williams). Even if the term is extended to a talent that can be developed, the emphasis is on it being something that a person has, not on the conditions or relationships that support the expression of that talent.
- I am exploring with others the idea that “Everyone can think creatively,” which moves the emphasis to how one helps people (oneself included) open up or see alternative paths and how one dispells beliefs that creativity is something that special individuals have. Even if I used the term creativity to refer to a path-opening conjunction of people (and their component strands), context, tools and processes, and focus on a product, the audience would still hear the other connotations referred to in #1.
One alternative is fruitful. Another is generative — see http://thesaurus.com/browse/generative and click on the tab “as in productive” to see a rich range of associations that include:
- advantageous, beneficial, constructive, dynamic, effective, energetic, fertile, gratifying, profitable, prolific, rewarding, useful, valuable, vigorous, worthwhile, generative, fecund, gainful, inventive, plentiful, producing, rich…
Another thought is something derived from “cultivating.” Both the person helping someone to see that “Everyone can think creatively” and the person who opens up or sees alternative paths is cultivating. The thesaurus website above gives a range of associations I am happy to work with:
- breed, fertilize, harvest, manage, plant, prepare, propagate, raise, tend, crop, dress, farm, garden, labor, mature, plow, ripen, seed, till, work
Is there a quality we could associate with gardening? Gardenizer? Gardinative?