Creativity is like a muscle, we need to work it out to keep it flexible.
So it only makes sense that there are lots of exercises that can be used to keep you tapped in to your imagination, working out your mind and pushing to create.
One that I use daily and that is incorporated in to Creativity Camp is the idea fishbowl. Find a bowl or basket that you can keep just for this purpose. As you flip through magazines, read books or wander the streets collect images and phrases that inspire you.
They could be happy and light or sad and dark – the trick is to aim for variety as you select them. Obviously if you think of a great line or string of words that you want to work with you should include that too.
From there you need to physically cut them up into small pieces that can be folded away and placed in your bowl. (For an example see the photo below)
Here comes the important part. You need to set aside time everyday pluck an idea out of your bowl and write. Set a timer for 15 minutes and let the phrase or image guide your writing.
Remember don’t stop writing – even if it means blabbing on about how frustrating it is to be unable to write. When I hit a block I often look up and grab a colour or shape from the room then write it repeatedly until it leads me to a new thought or word. (We’ll talk about the power of association another time!)
The key here is that your writing probably won’t be good. It’s not supposed to be. In fact, if it is really good maybe you need to think about loosening up even more!
You are writing from a place in your mind that you probably don’t use very often. It is not about censoring and grammar and word choice but rather about teaching your mind that it’s ok to run free and play. It’s about being as loose as possible and allowing your mind to flow and produce without boundaries or criticism.
No one is going to read this writing unless you want to show it off – so get collecting…