Creativity, that mystical elusive force that we all crave. Creativity has acquired the reputation of a legendary dragon which we as small individuals ride at our own peril. Without it, we have nothing as writers, no ideas, no characters, no books, no posts, literally nothing. All of our work starts with one thing and one thing only: an idea. A simple idea which we can nurture and grow until it becomes something beautiful and remarkable. Here are five quotes to help anyone who is struggling to be creative, find their creativity or harness their ideas.

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

Picasso was no stranger to creative pursuits. Almost single-handedly changing the art world with his work, Picasso acknowledges that a strong foundation of the “rules” allows us to be much more creative and explore alternatives much more freely with conviction. We need to learn about our craft before we can change it, mould it and master it.

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

Sylvia Plath, famous for he novel the Bell Jar and countless poems before her tragic death in 1963 knew a thing or two about self-doubt. Her tragic life was plagued with depression before she committed suicide. She acknowledged her self-doubt was her greatest enemy, but she overcame it and created some of the most touching literary works of the twentieth century which later influenced how we view mental health and second-wave feminism.

“Imitation is suicide”

Ralph Waldo Emmerson, became famous for his essays on individuality and conformity. Emmerson believed that being original in everything we do was the best way to live our lives. His work reflects the ideas of individuality and the tremors of his work can be found all through American culture, from Joni Mitchell to Billie Eilish.

“If critics say your work stinks it’s because they want it to stink and they can make it stink by scaring you into conformity”

Jack Kerouac, author of beatnik classics like On the Road, is perhaps one of the most creative writers of all time. The stream of consciousness maverick believed that doing your own thing was necessary to creating good work. Not caring about critical responses and following Emmerson’s belief in being an individual is what propelled him into the literary landscape.

“The beginning is always today”

Mary Shelly creator of Frankenstein was one of the very few female authors to arrive on the scene at the time. Mary believed that every day was a new start, regardless of what happened yesterday we can always begin today afresh.

“Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.”

Bob Dylan is perhaps known more for his witty lyricism than his actual music, but either way he will be remembered by history for a very long time. Dylan acknowledged that behind his work he channelled some sort of pain, behind everything that is beautiful we have to suffer in someway to create it, through a controlled tortured genius narrative, we can create something which is beautiful.

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”

Steven King is perhaps the most famous best-seller of contemporary literature, with books and films that generate huge amounts of income while send shock waves through the genre of horror, King suggests that we need to be brave to be creative. If we’re brave enough to start our work we will be brave enough to finish it.

“I am a cage, in search of a bird.”

Franz Kafka, a novelist who went largely unnoticed during his short life yet caused a cataclysmic shift with his work in the fields of existentialist philosophy and nihilism, saw creativity as a bird. The way we can create something beautiful is to trap that being within us, like a bird and a cage or more widely known like lightning in a bottle. We can actively seek inspiration and develop it within ourselves.

“To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky, one of Russia’s most treasured novelists, philosophers and thinkers believed in doing what was right for you. Doing something wrong of your own volition is far more valuable than going down a pathway which doesn’t interest you.

“I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.”

Frida Khalo, Mexican artist and painter, believed that creating what we know through experience was far more valuable than creating through dream or nightmare. Inspiration may come to us in many forms but we must always paint our reality.

What do you guys think?

Did I miss anything important? Let me know down in the comments, what are your quotes for creativity?