Have Trouble Getting Creative? Look Somewhere Else


When I’m stuck in a creative rut, or even when I’m looking for new ideas I find that I find new creativity when I look other places. Roger von Oech puts it this way:

“Finding new ideas is like prospecting for gold. If you look in the same old places, you’ll find tapped out veins. But if you venture off the beaten path, you’ll improve your chances of discovering new idea lodes. Remember: you can’t see the good ideas behind you by looking twice as hard at what’s in front of you.”

So where are you looking?

When I’m stuck in a writing project I find that if I take a reading break, I can refresh my mind and unstick the creativity. Good, well-written literature or even some kind of escapist fiction, if it’s well written, often opens the door.

When I’m totally stuck for a new idea sometimes just changing my environment helps. I enjoy working at Starbucks because the din of the crowd noise is energizing to me.

The shower, believe it or not, has always been a creative jump starter. Several key bestselling ideas came while I was taking a long shower. I have no clue why, it just happens that way sometimes.

In problem solving sometimes turning the issue inside out helps. Instead of starting to solve it logically, start with a more mosaic pattern, or start from the end (or desired outcome or solution) in mind and work backwards.

Hawaii helps me be creative as well, but time and money seem to block me from always looking there.

Whatever it takes, you can change your perspective and open a new vein of creative thinking and ideas. Don’t just look in the same places. Someone once described insanity as continually doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. The same is true with creative thinking.

What do you do to unleash your creativity?



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Brennan Manning

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