During the past month, one question we were asked pretty often was whether we want to move on to the creative or the management side of production. I answered management without hesitation, since I don’t feel an ounce of creativity in myself that I thought to be essential for the other path.

But is that really so? I was reading the Gundam Origin manga and I couldn’t help but notice the elements that would later become essential to pretty much every single mecha anime. And that includes works that were praised for their originality…

“Creativity is just connecting things,” said Steve Jobs somewhere sometime and I can’t disagree with that anymore. At least it describes creativity pretty well as it is understood in this day and age. That means somewhere along our path of growing up we’re implanted with a completely unrealistic idea of creativity: that it means creating something fundamentally new.

Great writers read a lot. It’s not that reading a lot gives them the magical ability to suddenly conjure up something brand new – they just have more material to work from. I think that with time the ability to combine those into something seemingly new can grow so much that it makes inherent talent close to irrelevant. It’s just a matter of “effort” (because I’m sure that people who, for example, read a lot don’t consider reading an effort).

I guess most people are just too busy to consider that.

Not to mention that even if one was considered a creative talent, would they really be able to create something fundamentally original?I started wondering earlier this week as I was reading about Campbell’s monomyth. All those ancient myths and modern stories fit in a certain pattern, and I’m positive that for most of them it’s not intentional. Writers are people too, with all the limitations of humans.

Is it really possible to break free of the basic concepts and ideas that are probably rooted in our subconscious? The monomyth construct is probably one such, but I could as well mention the various archetypes from Jung’s theory. I get the feeling that nothing at all is original out there, just a remix of the world, which makes everything the result of practically random chaotic events in the end.

But it may be that people are just scared of the idea that they’re powerless against something. I for one sure hate to consider that something’s beyond my reach for reasons beyond my choice.