The Survival Skill You Need is Creativity

If ever we need survival skills, we need them now. The one survival skill you may not have considered is creativity. Yes. The survival skill you need is creativity. 

the survival skill you need is creativity--this boy playing in box may not need it for survival today, but it will help him live longer
Chinese Child in a Box, boy by CC

When we are children playing with toys, our imaginations soar. We see rocket ships in sticks and oceans in mud puddles. How is it that as we get older, we stop seeing those things?

Our society doesn’t value creativity like it once was.

How Creativity Lost Points

Modern society shoulders much of the blame. The realities of working for a living often mean we need to learn linearly. To enable our children to put food on the table and a roof over their heads, we send them to schools that teach devalue creativity and require linear thinking. For reasons. And yes, there are some classes that encourage and allow creativity. But most of them…not so much.

And then there is technology. Technology permeates our culture and our workplaces. Therefore, one must learn to use technology. And some of those gadgets and devices are both necessary and addictive. We work and play on them.

There are studies that say younger people (20s) don’t memorize things . They prefer to use gadgets and technology to do that. And their brain reverts the process of memorization to a more primitive form.

Younger people also prefer to read on a device. But text read by scrolling has a much lower retention or memorization rate.

Creativity is a Survival Skill

Image of a pair of hands tying a string around a craft stick holding a chicken--this craft may not extend your life but creativity is a survival skill

If you are in a survival situation and you lack food, clothing, or shelter. Your ability to solve your problem creatively becomes a survival skill.

“Many people tend to associate creativity with freedom and moving laterally across a field of possibilities; in fact, creativity is frequently a response to limits and it usually demands a vertical, deeper incursion into the material.”

Enrique Martínez Celaya, contemporary artist,

Creativity requires a cognitive flexibility and an openness to new ideas. And that, according to Scientific American, helps you live longer.

Creativity reduces stress. Creative people “tend not to get as easily flustered when faced with an emotional or physical hurdle.” (It certainly helps me!)

Creativity is also a way to exercise the brain. And yes, exercising your brain is as important as exercising your body.

Build Your Creative Skills

a photo looking down onto open jars of rosemary, nutmeg, bay leaves etc sitting on an old wood table--the survival skill you need is creativity--relearn being creative

If you think of yourself as not creative, think again. You are creative. And you don’t have to be an artist to be creative. You’ve unlearned how to be creative. 

Want to exercise your creativity? I’m borrowing and adapting an exercise I learned from artist, Elizabeth Leggett.

Get something to write on. Go to your kitchen. Get one or two spices out of your cabinet.Take a big sniff of one of those spices.

Does that aroma remind you of anything? A place, a holiday, a food, or perhaps an event or day from your past.

Now take three minutes and jot down a few notes about what you thought of or felt immediately after smelling that spice.

That’s all. There’s no failure. Not even if the spice didn’t remind you of anything. The exercise is simply waking up your creativity.

More to Come

Stay tuned to this website every Monday. We’ll explore what creativity is, how to wake it up, and how to grow your skills. It’s important to exercise your brain. Remember, the survival skill you need is creativity.

Do You Read Zombie Stories?

Zombies are everywhere you turn. Television, Movies, memes on Facebook, and in stories. I don’t normally read this genre. Do you read zombie stories? If you do, I have a recommendation.

image of the book cover for Survival by Rhonda Hopkins

I read the first episode of Rhonda Hopkin’s Survival series. If you like zombie stories, if you like fast action, strong female characters, and a good story, you’ll like this one.

The Amazon Description

When Sarah escapes from her brutal abductors, she promises to return to rescue her twin sister, but with the dead walking the earth she is forced to rely on a coworker who made her work life hell for years. With her coworker weakened by cancer treatments, her sister still imprisoned, and the dead looking for an easy meal, Sarah’s only plan, if she can pull it off, is Survival.

The First Page

The first line hooked me but wouldn’t have been strong enough to keep me reading. The main character and her desperate plight kept me going. 

The Characters

image of a gray zombie--Do you read zombie stories?

The protagonist is Sarah. She’s real. She faces an impossible situation from which many would run away.

You care about Sarah and what happens because she fights for her sister and for people she knows need her. Her worries are real and her concern runs deep. That propels the reader through the story.

Most of the other characters are three dimensional and worth caring about. In a short piece, there isn’t always space to flesh-out (pun intended) all the characters.

The Storyline

Most of the action is believable… if you can say that fighting zombies is believable.

I don’t know how much blood and guts a typical zombie story has, but there’s enough in this story for you to get the horror of it. And not so much that it feels gratuitous.

Writing Style

Hopkin’s writing style is clear. There are some strong, evocative lines. And she includes enough description to ground you, the reader. At least one location in her story is real, though she admits on her Acknowledgments page that she took a few liberties.

The Author (from her website)

Rhonda Hopkins is an award-winning author of Apocalyptic Science Fiction, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Romantic Suspense and Nonfiction for adults, teens/young adult, and middle grade. She uses her past experience as an investigator to craft characters that are diverse and full of life, along with situations that include the dark and the light side of humanity. Rhonda especially enjoys finding that light—the hope and spirit of survival in everyday people.

Read more about Rhonda and her books on her website.

In Conclusion

I received a free copy of this story as part of a promotion by the author. (It has been in my to-be-read pile for far too long. Sorry, Rhonda!)

This is a short read and part of a series, but Hopkins made the story feel complete.

There were one or two instances where word choices threw me temporarily out of the story. YMMV.

All-in-all, it was an engrossing read (or is it a gross read when speaking of zombies?). I give this story a 4 out of 5 stars.

Did you like this review? Check out my Going to Mars Word-by-Word series of book reviews.

Do you read zombie stories? Have you read Survival? What did you think?