Without any ideas, there is no creativity.
Everything ever created has to start somewhere, whether it comes as a tiny fragment of an idea or suddenly and already well formed.
So it makes sense to do all we can to allow ourselves to have the best ideas possible.
Here are some tips to help you:
When you think you don’t have many ideas, it’s not because you’re not capable of having them, it’s because you don’t capture them.
How many times has inspiration come to you in a sudden burst in the shower or the supermarket, or driving home, and you’ve thought you’ll remember the idea, and develop it later?
Later comes and goes and you barely remember that you had the idea at all, let alone what it was. This can happen many times a day, maybe hundreds.
The key here is to record your ideas when they come to you, and in a way that captures their full essence and splendour.
For example, if you had an idea for a story about a golden horse that spoke seventeen languages and appeared in children’s dreams to help them overcome their fears of the dark (or something!) you’d want to capture that as fully as possible when it first came to you.
If you just wrote: “horse. kid’s dream” it doesn’t give you much to rely on to recall the idea when you return to it days, weeks or months later.
So instead record each idea as vividly as possible, so when you return to it, it explodes off the page and gives you the same excited tingles as when it first came to you.
Using the same example, something like “Golden talking horse. Seventeen languages. Appears in kid’s dreams to cure their fears” takes about twenty seconds to write, but contains a wealth of imagery and ideas to develop.
Ideas once collected, are very sociable and friendly.
In fact so friendly that they can’t help but intermingle and produce all kinds of new ideas, even when you’re not there. By just writing down your ideas in a journal, (or capturing in a camera or video camera or voice recorder) it gives them permission to unfold into something more, to stretch their wings and learn to fly.
As well as the ideas you record developing in your absence like this, you’ll find that the more ideas you have, the more ideas you’ll have.
But only once you start collecting them, once you encourage them.
It’s as if somehow the dreams that make it into your journal in some way send a telepathic message back to all the other as yet undiscovered dreams in your creative mind, a message that says: “Come on in guys, you’ll LOVE it here, it’s warm and welcoming, and you’re made to feel really special and valued, and given free chocolate and everything!”
What kind of self respecting unborn dream WOULDN’T want to arrive in your head with that kind of welcome?
Keeping an Ideas Journal also acts as a testing ground for those radical dancing around the fringes of what’s possible dreams that you might otherwise dismiss as far too fanciful, or unrealistic, or unachievable.
By simply writing down an idea – however extreme or “silly” it seems at first – you give it a chance to become to something. Some of these will amount to nothing, and others may well become the greatest and boldest ideas you’ve ever had.
The aim here is to simply capture without judgement.
Most of us have been trained to judge things very quickly, and anything that doesn’t seem conventional or accepted as “normal” is judged and dismissed before it’s given a chance.
But maybe those who have the most incredible, daring dreams and ideas, aren’t the only people that HAVE these kinds of ideas. Maybe we all have them, but the difference is whether you allow them to come to anything, whether you give yourself permission to be that creative, that unique.
These are a few, um, ideas, to help you have better ideas more often. Let them unstoppable flow begin!
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