Ten Ways to Ignite your Creative Embers and Exploit Incubation

Have you lost your mojo? Are you being squeezed into the norms of the working day? Are you squashed as the world awards status to those who possess logical and linguistic intelligence? Is the everyday experience of having people point out spelling mistakes crushing your confidence? Guess what? Some people can more easily remember and follow rules. These people mistakenly believe that because of this they are superior. The education system has traditionally rewarded regurgitating students and has ignored those who learn and understand in different ways. With advances in writing programs these people’s skills are exposed as less effective than spelling and grammar apps.

Children are naturally creative in a myriad of ways. This flame is doused as we move through formal education and employment.  We do not grieve this loss until we find we are unmotivated and morose in our everyday activities, as we sleepwalk towards the grave.  

You can nurture your creativity by utilising all your intelligences to their full potential. This will help you harness new ways of expression and problem solving.

Here are ten ways to get started.

  1. Ask questions. Come up with your first query and then write five variations for the same issue. For example, How do I get rid of cockroaches?, could also be, How do I attract cockroaches into my bin? What do cockroaches like? Where do cockroaches sleep? What animals eat cockroaches? The better question evolves out of this process.
  2. Reinterpret what is already working but use it for different purposes. The most original people have simply hidden the source of their inspiration.
  3. Engage an aware and open attitude to all forms of knowledge. Learn something new such as a Tik Tok dance or how to surf. Remember to have fun and imagine. When you play with toys your mind can meander – play doh, collage and silly putty are all joyful textural experiences.  Arouse your senses. Work hard on something and then leave it incomplete. This allows time for your unconscious mind to incubate and your ingenuity will blossom.
  4. Use free association to generate different words and ideas. For example, you start with the word cockroaches and come up with flight (you can’t use another insect).You might then come up with aeroplane.
  5. List unusual names for usual objects. For example, a giraffe may be a spotted stretch.
  6. Schedule time to brainstorm and journal. This will allow you to gather ideas that inspire you and will increase awareness of creative vision in your everyday life.
  7. Combine ideas. Look in the second draw of two different desks and combine two objects to create a toy. It might be that you find a pair of shorts and some string – can you make a kite? Go to the last and first photograph in your phone and use these to set a scene for a short story. Enter it into our short story competition.
  8. Create similes, metaphors and analogies using common day objects. Is a kettle screeching like the thoughts in your head?
  9. Write ideas on sticky notes and join associated ideas. Compare idea groups and choose the best one.
  10. Do something physical. Often when you have been thinking about something for a long time you have lots of information and ideas. Having worked for a protracted time on trying to find an answer or opportunity, you begin to feel frustrated. Your mind feels overwhelmed, as you have pushed it trying to find a solution. This is the time to give your mind a chance to forget by doing something simple like going for a bush walk, playing sport or watching a movie. Your unconscious mind takes over and gets to work on a solution. This is called incubation and it is when you get the greatest insight.

Then Aha!

The gestalt moment occurs. Sudden clarity emerges and you have an idea that you can share. People will give you feedback. Read the Enigma of Reason to understand more about this process. Be sure to critique, edit and add to your idea and most importantly, enjoy the process!

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