Creativity isn’t as creative as you think.
To be creative you need to put limitations on your project and then move beyond.
Here is how Laurel describes it:
… if I ask you to stare at a blank sheet of paper and “write something good and creative” what happens? You sit there awhile and scratch your head. Then, eventually, you look around your room, or out the window, or you think back over your day, or maybe books you’ve read, and find yourself a place to start. We all do that!
So for me, the best way to begin being creative is to set very rigid rules for myself. Like, if I want to write a poem I’ll think, “This poem should have 2 animals, a scientist, a kitchen appliance, and a body of water in it.”
Laurels concept helps you take those limitations and move beyond. I use this concept all the time in my other job as a graphic designer. I have clients who will say:
“I need a pin with a moose, caribou and elk and make them dancing.”*
That is much easier to create than when a customer says:
“I need a pin and it has to be fun!”*
What is fun? What do you want on it? I could tear my hair out for hours trying to come up with a “fun” design.
So when you begin a project set some boundaries in mind and start working. When I began my current WIP (Work in Progress) I faced it like a general heading into battle, armed with notes, post-it notes and a time line there was no staring at a blank page for this project. Now as I face a huge revision I am finding that creativity comes in the revision process. My super blogging buddy Sarah and I always remind ourselves it is impossible to edit a blank page. A writer always has to have something to start with even if it isn’t very good. Remember the creativity will come in the revision.
Writing on the Sidewalk
*Actual clients requests.