By Deborah Vrabel
For awhile I thought about naming my business Creativity Springs. I imagined the different reactions of everyone I’ve encountered professionally. Some people would relate to it and automatically assume that I’m a very creative person. Others, especially those with project management responsibilities, would politely try to move the conversation onto a less metaphorical plane where the “real work” gets done. Those who haven’t seen that I can easily switch to an analytical, goal-oriented mindset when needed might be less inclined to hire me or hesitant to work with me.
But I liked the way Creativity Springs can be read as either a sentence or a proper noun for a place. I liked the image of adding some pure, cool water for my readers as they evaluate a grant proposal or a position statement I’ve written. When my work needs to be distinctive and compelling, I like the idea of this mysterious undercurrent we can all bring to light if we make a habit of looking for its shimmer and take the time to let it bubble up to the surface.
My clients don’t pay for the time I spend in Creativity Springs. To me, the opportunity to go there is its own reward and the paid work is all about making something clients can use. Still some of the projects I’ve supported through my writing have benefited greatly from my trips to Creativity Springs.
- The creative titles or metaphors I find there have helped committees renew their focus and energy for the work during a long or contentious deliberation process.
- The element of story I weave subtly into the work helps the intended users of a report or technical guidance document to understand more clearly or to see themselves in the implementation.
- The words and images I find there lead to better illustrations and cover design and can reduce the costs and iterations of the design process.
- The research or intense observation that fueled the analytical writing yields insights about how to increase visibility, broaden readership, or determine next steps.
Whatever you do in work and life, I encourage you to make a trip to Creativity Springs a part of your journey. Like Narnia, Wonderland, and other mythical places, it’s not far from you–but it will change you.