Limitations and Creativity

After writing villanelles, with a very specific rhyme scheme, and certain writing prompts, such as using a specific set of words brainstormed by the class, we reflected on the relationship between limitations and creativity. Here are some of our thoughts:

Limitations inspire creativity. They are two forces, moving in tandem, pushing and pulling in a constant struggle. Limitations are stern frames, ones that force your creative intellect to liquefy and become water, able to fill any form. Working with villanelles felt like a burden at first, like shackles weighing heavily upon my thoughts. However, after a brief tussle, my ideas became flexible and were able to bend to conform to the villanelle’s structure, ultimately leading to a piece that I could be proud of. There is a time for freedom in writing, and there is a time for restriction. A true writer knows how to adapt to both.


Creativity cannot be measured. Every mind is different and withholds different stories. People from everywhere have different experiences that inspire and spark different creative ideas. Limitations free — creativity can run wild and be able to reach whatever limits the mind can imagine.


Limitations help expand creativity in my opinion. With creativity you can just write what comes off the top of your head. Limitations allow you to really think and maximize your thoughts in creative and unique ways. Limitations also help you think of ideas that you would’ve never thought of if the teacher was to say “use your creativity.”


You can’t have creative problem solving without first having a problem. Problems create limitations. Creative problem solving means, in order to solve the problem, since it limits your resources you have to come up with a solution using what you have. LImitations give you less options, so they force you to use those options in creative ways. In the villanelle poems, we were limited in the rhyme scheme, and the line structure. You have to come up with ways to keep the rhythm of the poem, the rhyme scheme, and the subject so it works together in the way a good piece of writing should.


Despite my initial thought, limitations promote creativity. When you have a goal, it’s like running a race. With no limitations, you can just run straight to the finish line. If you put in limitations like a curve lane, bumps, hurdles, etc., you can no longer just run straight to the finish. You need to create a new way around all the obstacles. This is just like obstacles in expression. Certain limits push you to be more creative, in order to overcome such obstacles and limitations. I really began to understand this during the villanelle.


Limitations cause you to hold back sometimes. It can be good for some but not for others. It makes you have to straighten yourself even when you don’t want to as everybody know how. Creativity lets everything out and it doesn’t hold you back. It lets your juices flow.
In the nature of creativity, freedom is explicit. When limitations are applied to creativity, though, it sets a foundation for larger thinking within a certain field. It creates thoughts and ideas that weren’t before there.


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