Today I'd like to talk a bit about creativity. I sincerely believe that every one is creative. I also believe that everyone needs to exercise that creativity in order to be healthy and productive. It's a part of our nature. We all express our creativity in different ways, just as we have different talents. I express mine through cooking, painting, and especially writing. To me, writing is the perfect expression of creativity because anyone can do it (yes, you can!), the tools are inexpensive, it is easily portable, and it is therapeutic. A lot of people journal, as do I, and that is a great place to start. I have a talented friend who teaches an AMAZING art journaling class. I would highly recommend art journaling. I spend most of my writing days on creative writing. I am trying to write something fresh and different and fun and unexpected. My thought is, if it's not fun to write, it won't be fun to read. So you could say that fun is the goal! I like to play around with picture books and short stories for children, and I use many techniques to spark creativity. I'd like to share one with you today.
I keep two bowls on my desk at all times. Whenever I think of a cool character for a story, I write it down and throw it in my character bowl. My other bowl is a setting bowl. When I come across an interesting setting for a story, I jot it down and throw it into that bowl. Sometimes I have a third bowl, and that is a problem bowl. When I think of a challenging problem for a character to face, I write it down and put it in that bowl. I currently have 50 plus items in each bowl. When I sit down to do my art pages in the morning (see Julia Cameron's THE ARTIST'S WAY--a must read), I choose a piece of paper from each bowl and spend 5-10 minutes brainstorming story ideas from that combination of things.
Here's an example. The other day, I pulled "Cartwheeler" out of my character bowl and "Closet" out of my setting bowl. I wrote about trying to cartwheel in a closet, being a closet cartwheeler, saving an old cart wheel in a closet, a cart wheel with a mind of its own-had to shut it in the closet, couldn't stop cartwheeling unless she hid in the closet, etc. Anyway, it's great fun, a good warm up for your daily writing, and every so often, the idea takes off into a great manuscript. Who knows? THE CLOSET CARTWHEELER might be on a shelf someday.
So get a couple of bowls, set them on your desk, and start collecting. You can write them all down (which I tend to do), but you can tear ideas from newspapers, magazines, and use pictures for setting ideas. I do have one picture in my setting bowl. It is of a really cool tree house. Wonder how my cartwheeler would do up there?
Have an awesome day full of creativity. It WILL put a smile on your face.
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.