Let’s travel (creativity exercise)

MrSpock

Following ideas from previous post, I thought it would be interesting to play around with notion of travel when it comes to our creative projects and goals.

In my personal experience sometimes happens that we have too many options or too many choices that we need to make, and that can keep us stuck in one place; no matter is it writing, creative problem or something else. It simply fuels our indecisiveness and we continue prolonging to tackle problem with some serious determination.

Today, I will suggest some simple exercises that might help you move forward in right direction or bring clarity when it comes to problem solving.

First exercise: Time travel. That is one of the greatest desires of humans, time travel. As a kid and a great fan of Star trek series, whenever was happening something I didn’t like I would pretend I’m teleporting myself to different world and time 🙂 But looking at it form scientific point of view, time as a parameter was invented by humans in order to give meaning to natural quality of impermanence. Eminent scientists, such as Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne  are allured with the possibility of time travel and continue to debate about it in their most recent works.

So why not play around with this notion by ourselves?

Imagine you were in a different time period, maybe 10, 100 or 500 years ago and how then would you deal with the problem? You don’t have your computer, phone, car or even electricity at your disposal, just met your basic needs. How would you approach your problem with fewer resources at hand? Or, you can go in future and imagine you have everything you need to achieve your creative goals, and more. In 10 years or 200 years ahead, how your situation would be different?

Second exercise: Space travel. Stage your situation in completely different geographical (or even planetary) location where conditions are completely opposite. Different climate, different culture, different societal values influence life: how that would impact your creativity, realization of your creative goals?

It’s interesting where our imagination can take us and how that can raise some additional points of view – just thinking about the problem differently conditions new ideas to come forth. In this way, you are giving yourself opportunity to experience your creativity in an unexplored manner. You can write a poem about it, or a short story. The point is to stir up inspiration that just might lies dormant and is waiting for some initial idea to trigger an avalanche of creativity.

It’s worth a try 🙂

The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn’t a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Mind mapping through poetry (creativity exercise)

plutarch

Since our creativity can be unpredictable, often times we can find ourselves having that huge idea, but still not managing to record all details, write everything down without losing a bit of it.

So today, I want to to share with you my impressions about little tool I use regularly to brainstorm a problem, or a project idea that I have found to be quite helpful. It’s mind mapping – with a twist. Probably most of you are aware of this technique but as the old Latin proverb says, “Repetition is the mother of all knowledge.” Mind mapping can help you become more creative, train your visual thinking, memory, and solve problems more effectively.

The basic notion behind this technique is to visually capture, connect and sort out information, or even get a great amount of information under control in order to generate new and fresh ideas.

The process is quite simple:

  1. You put in the center (of your paper) your main idea.
  2. Around that idea, now write all other topics that relates to your idea, establishing new relations among main and side topics.
  3. It’s almost like forming a tree where each branch further drives you to generate more details and more connections.
  4. And now the twist: try to think of this map you are building like it is a poem.

Dream-Vision

Instead of dry listing topics and ideas, with the words and phrases you chose, give your map a rhythm, lyrical note. Use adjectives, describe emotions related to your idea, expectations, why is it important. Imagine you are writing a concrete poem for example.

In this manner, your project will become more vivid and real to you. You are actually mapping your visualization, through words giving your senses the chance to “live” everything in your mind. By “breathing” in that emotion with your words, positive energy, you become more eager to put everything in work and apply solutions you came up with. It’s fun and interesting way to brainstorm every time you need more clarity and focus.

Now, this technique can be used for writing actual poems, novels and books (great as a storytelling technique as well) , but it can help you even in your vacation planning and job search.

What do you think? Worth a try? Please share your thoughts in the comments, below.


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In between rhyme (creativity exercise)

mridhaThe Greek philosopher Aristotle, was originator of  advanced human thinking in ancient Greek and in his book ‘On Interpretation’ he describes how words were powerful tools for his thinking – especially when words were connected to a thought he wanted to materialize, execute or one that conveys a meaning of creativity. He believed that in such way we are encouraging creativity and paving the road for possibilities to come.

In many already suggested exercises (see section ‘Write, create, innovate: exercises’) certain experiences, and the way how our senses react to environment have served as a given trigger for an emotional response that can be translated into a creative outlet.

Today, and in the exercises to come, let our focus be more on language, rhythm and melody of the words that can also train our creative thinking and especially be useful for other forms of writing.

I suggest we start with an internal rhyme like:

I try to write, remembering your kiss as you held me tight.

‘Type, type!’ I say to myself; ‘Don’t get fooled by a sentimental hype!’

So, you see the first and the last word in the stanza rhyme, giving the verses completely new feel and meaning to the written sentence.

For your exercise, you can call to mind an issue you have and pick one word of your own interest (it might be connected to a topic you are writing on, project you are working on or any other word that ‘bugs’ you somehow 🙂 Write in flow, without too much thinking – just try to follow this one simple rule; don’t pay attention to the logic or the meaning behind your verses; use simple facts about the situation, what you think, what others might think, what you could try or what you already did, what could be holding you back and other thoughts related to the issue..

This is more leisure and fun approach to brainstorming, which can be also beneficial: relaxed manner of thinking decreases tension and helps us become more open to the hidden treasures that language holds for us.

Have you already tried this exercise or something similar before? Please share in the comments below.