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Friday morning I had coffee with a guy named John, a professor from the Ohio State Engineering Department, and he ended our conversation with a couple of questions that really piqued my interest.

He’s a reader of this newsletter, and he asked me what benefits I’ve found from writing and sharing every day. I have a lot to say on this topic (and maybe I’ll write about it a little more in depth in the near future) but it really boils down to a couple of points:

  1. By writing every day, I am flexing a creative muscle that impacts the way I see and interact with the world. Because I know that I will need to write a piece soon, my brain has become attuned to drawing loose associations in conversation or observations that may be good writing topics. I’ve become simultaneously more detail-oriented and more playful.
  2. By creating something daily (shoutout to CrossChx and their core value, Create Something Daily) I am building a stronger sense of agency. Every day that I create something without needing approval or permission from anyone else, I become a little more sure of myself and the value I can add to the world.

John followed up my response with the question, “How do you define creativity?”

I was stumped for a second.

“I think creativity is the act of birthing thoughts and ideas. They may be inspired by other ideas or things that I see or experience, but when the thoughts and ideas themselves are born from my own brain, I call that creativity.”

But I’m curious: what does creativity mean to you? How would you define creativity? I’d love for you to respond to this email with your definition, and I’ll share it in an upcoming email.