Huffington Post recently ran an article on habits of extremely creative people*. Referring to Stanford University research, it said a person could increase their creativity by 60% by going for a walk - impressive stuff! The article then cited ten well-known creatives and their techniques for reengaging creativity. Steve Jobs held walking meetings; Toni Morrison watched the sun come up in silence. Bill Gates held an annual think week and retreated from the world - including his family - to read through papers in silence.
Some things are more achievable than others
It made me think of how I reconnect with my own creativity. Often, I have ideas about my manuscript when I'm in the shower! It's probably one of the only moments of the day I can think uninterrupted for a second or two. I often think I need to get a waterproof pen so I can write down my thoughts - funnily enough, in HuffPost's comment section, someone said their best ideas came to them in the bath. They used bath crayons to record them - now there's an idea!
Travelling by car
As a passenger, I always need pen and paper with me. There's something about staring out the window that really gets my thoughts flowing. Being the driver is more complicated and I often have to rely on memory which isn't always successful. Walking alone is a great way to solve a problem or think through the next steps of a scene. Walking as I do, though, usually with a child or three and a dog, is not always successful.
Reading is a huge prompt for ideas
I can be reading anything and think of a question needing answering in my manuscript, whether it's related or not. A line about the weather can make me think about what the characters had for dinner last night, or what colour is someone's hair. A picture in a magazine can be a prompt to remind me to use more description in a scene. I read at night with my tablet next to me and email myself notes to follow up in the morning. Not a very relaxing way to read, I'll admit, but necessary all the same.
What gets your creative ideas flowing? Do you record your thoughts during this time or do you rely on memory alone?
* Thanks to my dad who emailed me the article. He found it via news.com.au and I traced it back to its original source xox.