Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Few Thoughts on Creativity

Landscape of Butterflies by Dali

Undefine normal - The more I think about it, the more I’m starting to believe that typical exists but, normal does not.  To use the word ‘normal’ to describe something seems to imply that other ideas that don’t fit the criteria you’ve established are abnormal. That is, not good. So, instead, try thinking of what’s atypical, what hasn’t been done to death before. It’ll lead you to find new solutions and give you new perspectives. Whether that’s with a novel you’re writing, a painting you’re creating, or a new recipe you’re inventing. 
Reverse expectations - Rather than thinking about what’s expected of you, think of what is not. But what you would accomplish if you didn’t have those expectations? What would you do if no one was looking over your shoulder? What would you write in your novel or sketch if there were no expectations, if there was only a dream to pursue?
Explore relationships - Look for unexpected connections, natural consequences of your idea, and apparent contradictions. Take this train of thought to its logical conclusion. Force yourself to stick together two ideas that aren’t typically connected. Be specific, not too broad. For example—I am going to write a 3000 word short story about a scuba diver with the opening line, “I woke up underwater and I knew I was going to die.”


Arkatox said...

Thanks for posting again, Steven. Your tips help out with my writing all of the time. :)

Dana said...

Thank you so much steven! I love your blog musings! Really appreciate your insight.

AlyF said...

Just wanted to let you know that you have reignited my husband's love for reading thru The Patrick Bowers Series. He is anxiously awaiting the release of The Queen and wishing your publisher released books early to to bloggers! Thank you for sharing your talent!

LauraBo said...

reading a book by Craig Groeschel called WEIRD which is about not being "normal" but being weird for God. Goes along what your saying here.

Madre Minutes said...

So a few thoughts on creativity: You had us do an exercise, the knife fight then the You never really understood me...
So here they are.....putting myself out there.
Knife fight: Mind only gave us 3 minutes.
The shavings from the sharpener had barely come off the steel blade before Cal leaped across the room lunging towards Paul. With little time to grab his newly sharpened blade Paul reacts with quickened judo sense coming face to face with his enemy. Standing, crouching with both knives drawn thirsting for blood they stand staring......the director yells cut, end scene and they burst into laughter. The best of friends break for lunch.

You never really understood is what I really want;
What I want is what I know I have but what you seem to understand better. At least I think you do, or have been made to believe you have the ability to express into words how I truly feel.....about anything.

So there you have it.....enjoy.
Kindest regards,
Barbara Collins†

Steven James said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. I guess creativity is a really big umbrella and it's interesting to see what types of things people see beneath it.

Phil Geissler said...

First off, let me just say I can relate to AlyF's husband. Having read up to the "Bishop" in the Bowers series, I am anxiously waiting the next edition to come out!

Concerning Creativity... I need to find a creative outlet, becuase there is only so much "out of the box" thinking you can accomnplish as a computer programmer/research analyst - lol!

If I tried "Reverse Expectations" in my occupation I would probably be fired; which it would be painful since my wife is my boss :)

karen the reader said...

Love to read your books. Am waiting with held breath for The Queen. On a funny note can you write faster LOL