Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Turning on the Creativity

"Where on earth did you come up with that idea?"

Sometimes I wonder that about things I see out in the world. Take this bottle cap tripod, for example. With it you can shoot steady photos without lugging around a cumbersome piece of equipment. Pretty genius!

I've gotten similar questions before about where my book ideas come from. People want to know--where does creativity originate? (And how can I get some?)

Turns out, part of the key is allowing yourself to be bored. If your mind doesn't have anything else to think of, it'll have to come up with its own entertainment. And creativity is really entertaining!

When I was a kid, I had really long bus rides to and from school. Being the last stop of the afternoon (and not having anyone else in particular to talk to), I had plenty of time to let my brain wander. Mostly I spent that time imagining disputes between random people, wondering what they were fighting about and how they would make up.

Before you call me crazy for listening to strange voices arguing in my head, let me just say that those long hours of imagination probably contributed a lot to me becoming a writer.

Ok, so you agree with the general idea, but where on earth are you going to find time to be bored?

How about in the car on the way to work or running errands? Turn off the music and sit in silence for a while. When you're at the doctor's office, don't pull out your phone. Make yourself sit and think. Daydream while you're in the shower.

But what are you supposed to think about?

Try thinking about things being broken. For example, what if all the cars in the world broke down? What would happen then? Or what if all the locks on all your doors broke? How would you keep your house secure?

For me, the broken things I imagined were relationships. For you, maybe it'll be something else. And maybe that something else will lead to a really great idea that could benefit everyone.

Be bored. Break things. Get creative.

Where do you find your creativity?

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