Just listen (creativity exercise)


What triggers and inspires creativity in one person is quite individually. There are a lot of factors influencing this process, but usually it is something that catches our attention, (like curiosity) and initiates that idea from which everything else begins. So today I want to invite you to pay attention to your surroundings. We all tend to sink into our own minds, thoughts drifting on their own…But focusing and paying attention to our surrounding is of great importance since it reflects our abilities to spot opportunities, and act upon them; turn that inspirational thought into something viable and move forward with our creativity.

I propose two exercises:

  1. Listen to everything and everywhere. ‘Blend and tune in’ with your environment and listen to the sounds, conversations (I’m not suggesting you spy on anyone!) and notice what randomly catches your attention: a word, song, laughter, baby cry.. and write a poem about it. Let that be the initial spark of something you absorbed from your environment and you are creating further. Don’t censure yourself, just write your poem and what ever comes – let it surface.
  1. Hear what you don’t like listen to. I particularly don’t like the news and don’t listen/read them but for the sake of this exercise give it a try: pick one news headline and that can be something you really dislike; now write your own news that are quite the opposite, news you would like to hear or read in the newspaper, news in the form of poem. I know, it can feel a bit strange – first writing news (and you are probably not a news reporter, just like I’m not) and second – making a poem out of it. But that’s the purpose of this exercise: to stretch our minds and look for solutions and possibilities where we are unlikely to find them.

By following the steps and doing the exercises I propose here on the blog, you may find your creativity increase dramatically. We create and develop opportunities, but we also need to be able to recognize something that might work for us – we can train our minds to get better at this; to be more responsive to an external stimulant. It’s a sort of getting into habit to cultivate inspiration and is a sure way towards leading an inspirational life.

‘T is you that are the music, not your song.
The song is but a door which, opening wide,
Lets forth the pent-up melody inside,
Your spirit’s harmony, which clear and strong
Sings but of you. Throughout your whole life long
Your songs, your thoughts, your doings, each divide
This perfect beauty; waves within a tide,
Or single notes amid a glorious throng.
The song of earth has many different chords;
Ocean has many moods and many tones
Yet always ocean. In the damp Spring woods
The painted trillium smiles, while crisp pine cones
Autumn alone can ripen. So is this
One music with a thousand cadences.

Amy Lowell

If you liked this post and you are interested in getting more inspiration for your creativity, sign up for our free bimonthly newsletter.

11 thoughts on “Just listen (creativity exercise)

  1. This is quite insightful,as I was reading, my mind went straight to the standing fan,blowing right in front of ,and the sound of paper flipping to the buzzing sound of the fan….looks like something’s brewing already. :-). Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Sings but of you…” This is the essence of lyric poetry. I don’t know when I’ll take finding rhyming poetry as a matter of course. I think I said that in a previous comment to something. As it is, I’m still delighted.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s