The Secret of Creativity ~ Part Five
CREATIVITY NEEDS A WARM – UP
If we were to go for a run, go to the gym or an exercise class, you would expect to do a warm-up. Our body’s need to warm-up, and get our muscles ready for, and prepared for exercise.
You wouldn’t dream of going for a 10 mile run without at least a little preparation and a few stretches, so why do we expect to suddenly get an explosion of creativity, when perhaps we haven’t exercised our creative muscles for so long?
We need to do a creative warm-up to get ourselves into the right frame of mind. To loosen up our thinking, and to allow ourselves time and space to get flow.
Why not try some of these creative warm-up exercises to get your creative juices flowing!
15 minutes of walking, writing, meditation, drawing without a purpose, dancing, yoga, gardening….
“Greatness often appears in the midst of imperfection.”
I thought the best way to show the actual power and usefulness of free-writing would be to attempt to write this section of the book as a free-writing exercise. I set the time on my mobile phone for 15 minutes and wrote continuously on the subject of free-writing. I did not stop.
Here is a sample of what I wrote, word for word. See what you think.
“It allows us to let go, to really get out onto paper our REAL thoughts and feelings. Not the thoughts and feeling that we think we should be thinking, but the real base true ones.
The heart of the matter.
The real deal.
The ones that say, this is who I am, this is me. This is what I want. This is how I see the world. My ideas.
It comes from a place we don’t even understand and are rarely in touch with. A place deep within ourselves. A spiritual place, a place more powerful than our logical minds. A place of real depth, that seems to have a knowing, a knowledge, a wisdom.
It seems to tap into answers, wisdoms and insights that we didn’t even know about.
It tears away and removes the outer barricaded, our protective shell. It stops the critical mind in its tracks.
We stop labouring over every little nuance and thought, its spontaneous and creative energy at its best
OUR TRUTH, OUR INTERNAL WISDOM”
This was the first section of the 15 minute free-writing exercise. I promise I have not edited it, except for adding a bit of extra punctuation.
Does this proves the point that free-writing is a fantastic creativity tool because it allows you to suspend your inner doubts and fears and simply write. Even in terms of simply quantity of writing, you can produce far more when you allow it just to flow than if you to let go of it having to be just right, just so.
This is what I did
- I gave myself a time limit. I wrote for 15 minutes in total. I would recommend between 10-20 minutes
- I Kept my hand moving until the time was up (near enough). I tried not to pause or stare into space of into space or read what I had already written.
- I Wrote quickly, but not in a hurry.
- I definitely paid no attention to grammar, spelling, punctuation, neatness, or style. You normally know that nobody else needs to read what you have produced. The correctness and quality of what you write do not matter; the act of writing does.
- If I had run out of words or ideas I would have kept writing anyway. If necessary I would have written a load of nonsense or whatever came into my head, anything to keep my hand moving.
- When the time was up I looked over what I had written and can then mark passages that contain ideas or phrases that might be worth keeping or elaborating. I use a highlight pen to do this.
- The main thing is to not think too much, and just let go. Alow the writing flow through you. You will be surprised at how much you already know and how powerful your writing and ideas can be when you let go, relax and just allow it to come tumberling out.
“Go to the place where you are writing what your mind actually sees and feels, not what it thinks it should feel.” Natalie Goldberg Writing the Bones
“First thoughts have tremendous energy” Unknown
Gain a different perspective
This exercise might be a bit of a push for some of us! It can really help if you are looking for a solution to a problem or what a fresh pair of eyes or a new way of seeing an issue.
Imagine you are someone other than you. You could be a famous person, someone who you admire, or someone just very different to you. Someone who is likely to see the world through very different eyes to yourself.
Here are a few suggestion: Your mother, God, the Prime Minister, your neighbour.
How would the see this issue? What solutions would they be likely to suggest? What ideas would they have? How would they see things differently from you?
If you want to get further ideas, why not ask people, peoples who’s opinions you wouldn’t normally seek. I have always been really surprised by the outcome when I have done this. People who you least expect can sometimes come up with some very insightful thoughts and suggestions. You only need one new idea or thought to challenge your thinking and perhaps jump start your creative thought processes
Get your thinking cap on!
How many different uses could you come up with for the common cardbourad toilet roll holder? Can you think of 20 different uses?
Pick three random words from a book or dictionary
Can you create a link with these three words? Could they be the starting point for a story, a piece of writing, song, poem or art?
Ask what if questions….
The best way to warm-up your creativity is by allowing yourself to get playful, and be a bit silly. Have fun.
Keep those positive feel good thoughts in mind. Use them to spur you on. The more you do, the more the fear will lessen and lose its grip. I think we could all think of an experience in our lives which shows this to be true. FEEL THE FEAR & DO IT ANYWAY.
“Why not go out on a limb, is that not where the fruit is.”