Let’s talk about idea generation. Why do some people have heaps of ideas while others don’t? Are they just more creative? Are they just “those types of people”?
I think that everyone can do it, but like most things, it comes easier for some than others. Much like bartending or bookkeeping. While shying away from bartending makes sense if you don’t care for small talk +/- liquor, could you justify neglecting your finances because you’re “not the type who enjoys numbers”? Probably not. Fostering creativity is a choice. I don’t think it runs toward us when our arms are crossed.
These are a few things I’ve found that align during my seasons of creative peaks. I do recognize that ideas aren’t enough and you have to work to make things happen and anyone can have a lot ideas without follow through and blah blah blah.
1. Exercise. BORING, I know. You thought these would be NEW and USEFUL tips and tricks. But I’m telling you, there is a significant difference between times I’m just eating well and times I’m adding yoga or running to my regime. Those are the times I can’t sleep because I have so many projects I want to start and hangouts I want to plan.
2. Pull a Woody Allen. When I watched his documentary, I was shocked that he had a drawer full of ideas—not an Evernote app or a file cabinet with tabs. Just scrap pieces of paper with brief notes or titles. No organization and no over thinking. I find that to be a really freeing system. Organize your heart out, but if it’s the one minute difference between writing it down and not, I say throw it in a box.
3. Idea notebook. This is my favorite because I’ve seen the most improvement here. After listening to a really inspiring talk from James Altucher, I adapted a similar system to what he briefly spoke about. I write down 10 things I’m thankful for and 10 new ideas everyday. He said it’s hard to be upset about anything when you’re reminded of what you already have. He also said that creativity is like a muscle; if you don’t use it, it atrophies. Since I’ve been doing this, I promise it’s gotten easier. The ideas have gotten better and often times I accumulate more than I need for my daily quota. It’s gotten really fun too. Maybe those ideas do run to us IF we have open arms.
4. Take showers sometimes. Or baths! Or drive without music. There are one zillion other reasons to be comfortable with stillness, but I bet you can’t argue with me on this one.
How do YOU get your ideas? What are your tricks? What patterns do you find when when you’re in a particularly creative season? This is where you give me free tips. >OPEN ARMS<