Remember when you were a kid?
Coming up with things to do on a Saturday afternoon was easy. It almost required no thought at all.
Well in order to become creative you now have to (as an adult) figure out how to retrieve that mentality. It is no longer natural to you. You became all civilized and fine-tuned socially. Your brain grew up and quit having fun.
That is what creativity is all about. Letting your brain out to play.
But how? How do we get that back? Here are three ways that really help me and maybe they will help you also.
Read books and savor the words of other authors. As they ruminate and roll around in your noggin they may jar a great idea out of hiding. But don’t read just to say you read it.
Remember that book you purchased for $3.99 on Kindle? That book took someone who knows how many nights of study and research to create. So honor them.
To read well isn’t just to memorize. It is letting as much of the words and message be savored before it’s swallowed. Many times you will memorize or remember more, the more you meditate and you will benefit much more. As one Puritan described it:
Go get a full belly. Grab a book. Read a chapter. Let the words and thoughts roll around in your head during the day.
(I didn’t say what you think I said)
Chew your food! Think slowly.
Don’t simply allow what you know is an insightful thought to be considered for only a few seconds and then swallowed up with the rest. Play with idea. Have fun. Sometimes you gotta sit on an egg until it hatches.
3. Mock it.
Be your idea’s biggest antagonist. Question it. See if you can see holes in it or what is not so great about it.
Inspect it over and over. One of the things that I do is verbally role play an interview being done with me (The Idea Creator) and some cranky press figure who wants to shake me (also Me). It sounds nuts – it is nuts – but it works.
Whatever you do don’t settle for no ideas at all. Coming up with a great idea is like catching a bass or hitting the perfect golf shot – once it happens you forget how long it took and you can’t wait to do it again.
Now go play.