Wednesday, 23 July 2014

creative habits uncovered

As a creator, what gets your juices flowing?  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.

6 comments:

  1. I read the same article, don't ask me how I got to it but it really made me stop and think about how I think! Needs a bit of tidying up it seems. Next time I stumble across such things I will send you the link.

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    1. It was a great find, wherever you came across it! Would love to see any links you think might be of interest, thanks!

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  2. I've always wished I had an internal record button to be able to record my thoughts. Sometimes they are so fleeting and even if I can get to a pen and paper within minutes, they are already gone. Frustrating!!!

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    1. Glad you understand! It's hard even trying to bring it back to just a one word reminder… now what was it?!

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  3. My creativity flows as soon as I turn off the lights to go to sleep. Then it is a game of light on light off as I rush to write the ideas down before I forget them. Oh and the shower... yep the shower works for me too ;) xx

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    1. Yes, the notebook next to the bed is handy! Between the bed and the shower, they're probably two of the only places that mothers get any quiet time!

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