by Shannon Manuel

Editor's Note

Hold on to your creativity, even when there’s no motivation to do so

SHANNON_EDS_PIC.jpg

I have always been an admirer of those who create, particularly those blessed with the ability to draw. Since a child, it always fascinated me how there were people who could so effortlessly translate the images in their mind into detailed masterpieces. While I could create and write fantastic stories, imagining unique creatures and colourful characters clearly in my mind, I could never manifest them into visual representations and I longed to be able to. Fifteen years later and I still do.

Now, obviously, creativity manifests itself in many ways, not only in physical artistry. It is difficult to attach any kind of label, definition or parameter to the concept of creativity, but it is one of the greatest qualities any of us can be blessed with, yet many never allow their true creativity to be expressed, or they never get the chance to.

In my experience, if people are given the time and opportunity to express themselves, the ideas and insights they put forward are truly eye-opening—especially if it’s a topic they’re passionate about. Very few days go by when I don’t stop at some point and say to myself: “I wish I’d thought of that.”

The fact is that for many, their job and the structured routine of life is stifling their ability to create. Working in an environment that does not value or encourage creativity can be extremely demoralising, decreasing one’s productivity levels and eliciting feelings of underappreciation and redundancy. The truth is that for many, their creative side has become dormant. Every person is capable of producing ideas, however, no matter how great they are, if they’re constantly getting changed to fit a very specific mould—essentially being told not to colour outside the lines—after a while, you get in line and stop being creative. Instead, you become a machine churning things out without much thought or effort; mostly because you know it’s a waste of time to push the limit. It’s the quintessential “don’t rock the boat” mentality that gets even the most non-conforming of us to conform.

The challenge is holding on to your creativity and allowing yourself to remain inspired. One of the worst things in this world is a wasted talent. Resigning yourself to live without creativity is resigning yourself to a life without imagination. Creativity breeds confidence, passion, innovation, personal and professional growth, and opportunity.

This issue marks a year since I have been at the helm of BBQ magazine. And while I too, found myself demoralised from taking the creative path at times, persevering and achieving this milestone has, personally, been rewarding and would not have occurred without holding on to my own creativity. I thank all of those individuals who held onto theirs and assisted in making this issue of BBQ magazine a special one. Enjoy! 

Shannon Manuel

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