Creative Minds

A Regular Column by Anthony D. Fredericks

Who’s the most creative person in the world?  A four-year-old child, of course.  Kids are known for asking an endless array of questions (“Why is the sky blue?” “How do birds fly?” “Where do babies come from?”).  But, by the time that four-year-old has turned into a nine-year-old, his natural creativity has been significantly reduced.  And, then, that nine-year-old grows up into a 22-year-old, graduates from college, gets a job, and discovers that his once dynamic creative spirit has completely fizzled.

What happened?

Simply put, our natural sense of creativity has been swept out of our minds by a system of societal myths, educational practices, workplace habits, and everyday expectations more focused on conformity than on fostering creative expression.  We have not been trained to generate a plethora of creative solutions when faced with intellectual challenges.  In so many ways, our thinking has become “McDonald’s-ized” – it’s standardized and predictable.  “Thinking outside the box” is not what we do well. 

The big unanswered question is: What causes us to be “non-creative?”  We were creative souls when we were young; but, now, as adults, we find ourselves wrestling with challenges that demand innovation; but often discover that our creative “wells” have dried up.  Why?  Interestingly, it’s a query never asked before; and, even more important, one never answered in all the “How to Be More Creative” books (more than 60,000 published) and all the “Becoming a More Creative Person” articles (more than two billion on Google) currently available.

Three years ago, I set out to write From Fizzle to Sizzle: The Hidden Forces Crushing Your Creativity and How You Can Overcome Them!  It is both an examination of the unseen powers that impede our creativity and, also about how those all-too-powerful influences can be curtailed and eliminated.  The ultimate truth is that an understanding of creativity is also an understanding of mystifying obstacles – the miseducation, societal impediments, and workplace practices that negatively influence our creative spirit.  Ultimately, knowing the barriers (the diagnosis) to creative thought prior to implementing dynamic creativity strategies (the prescription) can help make those changes more effective and long-lasting. 

From Fizzle to Sizzle is a book about persistent pressures…and how they can be forever nullified.  We’ll examine the influence of those forces in future editions of this blog…along with several creative “game-changers.”  Stay tuned – there are amazing adventures along the way!

Creativity is intelligence having fun.

– Albert Einstein


Dr. Anthony D. Fredericks is Professor Emeritus of Education at York College of Pennsylvania.  He is an award-winning author of more than 170 books, including the highly anticipated From Fizzle to Sizzle: The Hidden Forces Crushing Your Creativity and How You Can Overcome Them (January 2, 2022) as well as five other Blue River Press titles (e.g. Writing Children’s Books: Everything You Need to Know From Story Creation to Getting Published ).  He also pens a regular blog (“Creative Insights”) for Psychology