creativity and writing

7 09, 2017

11 Surprising Ways to Boost Creativity

By |2017-06-04T15:40:52-05:00September 7th, 2017|Guest blogger, writer, writing|1 Comment

Welcome returning guest blogger Jack Milgram. Jack blogs at Top-notch study tips for A+ students. Today he shares some ideas with us about how to boost your creativity. You can read his July blog for View from the Front Porch here.

11 Surprising Ways to Boost Creativity

For those who are engaged in creative professions, there’s no time to wait for inspiration. You should be able to turn your creative thinking on every time you start working.

To attract great ideas when they’re needed most, it’s essential to know some quick tips on how to boost creativity any time.

  1. Solve puzzles.

Imagination always relates to your brain’s productivity, and that’s why it’s essential to train it every day. Highly developed problem-solving skills will help you find new ways to approach different situations.

  1. Go for a walk.

We often forget to look around, while there are so many things there to inspire! Have you ever heard of biomimicry? It’s when designers or scientists find ideas in biological processes. Take a breath of fresh air and try to do the same thing.

  1. Read different genres.

What does it mean to be creative? It means being able to produce new ideas and apply them to various tasks. And where can you find more great ideas than in books? Be interested in all genres—fantasy, classics, romance, detectives, horror, and more.

  1. Turn off the lights.

Research shows that dimmed lighting helps people feel more free. In one experiment, this sense of freedom let the participants perform more creatively. The tip is—don’t try to work when the lights are too bright.

If you’re stuck and can’t start thinking outside the box, try some physical activity. A session of yoga or 20 minutes of jogging can enhance your imagination. This is a universal way to get inspired in a short time.

  1. Follow talented people online.

Almost every artist subscribes to blogs and galleries of other talented people. Just scrolling through your newsfeed on Instagram or Pinterest can inspire you to develop something entirely new. Keep up with those who share your hobby.

  1. Play music or doodle.

If you’re a writer, try painting. If you’re a musician, try to write a novel. Creativity is the ability to broaden your horizons, and you can do so by trying new activities.

  1. Try out some writing prompts.

There’s no opportunity to come up with new ideas when you’re stuck in the same old work routine. For example, if you write about motorcycles every day for half of the year, it’s no surprise that you’ve run out of ideas. What can you do? Try some prompts to boost creativity when writing.

  1. Spend time with friends.

Communication, especially with those who share our interests, is what makes us happy. And happiness increases our chances of thinking creatively. So, go to your friend’s place and watch a movie.

  1. List all your ideas.

Why does brainstorming help us with being creative? Because we don’t judge ourselves or set limitations. We just develop as many ideas as possible. The key thing here is to write all these ideas down. Such an approach helps you find the best solution to any problem.

Sometimes thinking too much can lead you to a dead end. Try to relax and demand nothing from yourself—and you’ll see just how many ideas come to mind when you aren’t concentrating on the topic.


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13 04, 2015

Adding and Subtracting for Creativity

By |2015-04-13T06:00:14-05:00April 13th, 2015|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

creative brainCreativity is a way of thinking, a way of viewing the world, and we all have slightly different ways we create.

Austin Kleon in his book How to Steal Like an Artist suggests:
“Creativity isn’t just the things we chose to put in, it’s also the things we chose to leave out.”

Sounds a lot like math to me.

Put something in = adding; leave something out =subtracting.

Some creative people start with nothing and add piece by piece until a final work is complete.

The opposite of addition is subtraction. Being creative by subtraction means you begin with a great mass of stuff, then the chip away, removing little by little until the final work is revealed underneath.

Examples of creation by addition

• Musicians and composers begin with a single melody line, beat, or sample and build layers until the piece of music is complete.

• Weavers begin with an idea or design, and then weave thread by thread, color by color, layer by layer until the finished tapestry emerges.

• Poets and writers may write one or two lines at a time, adding slowly, each word carefully chosen and placed in the correct position and sequence and complementing what’s been put there before.

Examples of creation by subtraction

• Archaeologists have a vague idea of what’s buried where they chose to dig, but they delicately, systematically remove the earth and debris to uncover the treasures.

• Sculptors start with a chunk of their chosen medium, stone or wood for example, then chip away gradually until the sculpture emerges.

• Fiction Editors begin with a completed manuscript, and then slowly remove the excess and weak parts to expose a great novel.

Most creative types probably use a combination process of adding and subtracting.

When I’m writing, I start with a premise or theme and add from that. Words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters build until I have a completed novel.

Other times I use subtraction, more correctly called editing, not creating. However, I am taking a whole manuscript and chiseling away to create a finished product.

What about you? Which do you use most adding or subtracting in your creative process? Do you think experimenting in the opposite way would expand or improve your creativity?

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