Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sneaking up on creativity

Creativity is a free flowing stream, and authors drink as much as they can hold, racing to type fast enough to get all the wonderful, amazing thoughts down.

Heh!  That was so silly even I couldn’t keep a straight face while typing it ;).  There may be writers out there for whom that sentence is true, or mostly true, or they like to make their fans THINK it is true.  But for most creative folks- writers included- that’s not how it works.

Creativity is in EVERYONE, I don’t care if you’re one of those, “but I’m not creative “whiners.  You’re ARE creative, and unless you can provide notarized documentation that says that as a kid you NEVER made up friends, adventures, or basically never played at all- I am so not believing you.

You may have temporarily misplaced your creativity- but you still have it. You just need to let things go and it’ll bubble back.

So how to keep the creative side flowing when what you love to do depends on it?  (Or even just to give yourself a good kick in the creative arse?)

You find ways to play.  Ways to sneak up on creativity without making your sub-conscious go on a “no,no,no!” binge.

Here are a few ideas-some of which I’m now doing, others are going to be phased in ;).

1)      Idea book.  Ok this is just a small, carry it with you book, but each day (date them so you know you didn’t miss!) you have to write SOMETHING.  A single line is fine, an idea of a character, place, event, plot, song, image- SOMETHING.  Lines of dialogue are good too.  They do not, nor should they, need to be related to a current project!  This is just to get your little brain poking around.  You probably will never use most of the ideas.  Doesn’t matter- get the brain working in a different direction!

2)      Draw with crayons.  Ok, unless you have kids, you probably do not have crayons in your house.  Go buy some (Even if you have kids- don’t snurch theirs!  Get your own set.).  Also buy something to draw on. Now draw.  If you’re really stuck, you can go buy some cheap coloring books.  The thing is to play- enjoy the smell and feel of the crayons as you draw.  Who cares what you make- just play!

3)      Make a collage.  Now this can just be cool things you find in old magazines, or actually try to make it have meaning.  Thing is use the creative power of others (the magazine folks) to pull it out of you.

4)      Find a cool image and mosaic it- again, you can just do it with paper if you want.  The gathering of lots of little pieces of color into something bigger helps you see beyond a single shade.

5)      Take your characters, and in a page or two- put them (or just the main one) in your favorite book or movie.   This is again bouncing your creativity off that of another.

There are many more I’m sure (please post anything you know of).  But the main thing is to keep in mind that creativity breeds creativity.  So while NONE of these are directly designed to impact your current work-in-progress they all will improve your writing J.

Creativity can be a wily beast, sometimes ya gotta sneak up on it.

Thanks for coming by!


  1. More ways to jumpstart creativity? Caffeine always works for me. :)

    But seriously, thanks for another great post, Marie.

    1. LOL! I think caffeine is probably the deity of creativity ;). Glad you liked the post Shoshana and thanks for coming by!

  2. I have read more than one article about a story board. And I keep a pocket notebook. Great blog.

    1. OOO- the story board is a great idea, Mary. I still want to figure out how to really do one that works (I get very distracted ;)).

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

  3. Wonderful ideas! Great post!


  4. Hmm crayons. I do color in coloring books with the grandkids. While they feel free to put color anywhere on the page, I feel the need to keep just the right color in the lines to produce the best, most lifelike picture I can with the materials available. Hmmmm, again. I think this may be an indication that my free flowing creativity is stifled by what I perceive as limits.


    1. Thanks for coming by Sharon- and you may have just hit on a major creativity road block! Go ahead- color outside of the'll feel much better :).

      Marie- stuck at work logging in as anonymous!