Finding Creative Ideas
Anyone who creates needs a steady influx of new ideas. Everything every created, everything ever invented, began with a tiny gem of an idea in someone’s mind. Every single one began the same way.
So it follows that if we don’t have any ideas to work with, we’re not going to be able to create anything.
Here to help you out then are 7 brilliant ways to have more creative ideas than you thought possible.
1. Use your senses. We experience the world through our five senses, and we create using them too. But often we ignore our surroundings so much that we might as well be wandering around with a bucket of jam on our head!
Wherever you are, the world around you is thriving with stimuli. Focus on just one of your senses, for example your sight, for five minutes, and write down everything you experience, every last detail. The more you do this simple exercise, the more alert and aware you’ll become, and you’ll realise that stimulation for new creative ideas is everywhere.
2. Write lists. Ideas often come and go in our minds, and the problem is not actually manifesting the ideas, but capturing them before they disappear. How often have you had a flash of inspiration, vowed you’ll work on it later, only to completely forget it moment afterwards?
Writing lists firstly is a way of recording those ideas as soon as they occur, but the added benefit is that once you have a few items in a list, your mind naturally wants to add more. Plus you’re creativity will begin looking at different things in your list and ways of combining or cross pollinating them. A very powerful idea breeding ground. Try it!
3. Read a range of materials. If you read the same magazines, articles, websites and books, then although you are getting new content, it’s likely to be in a very similar style and tone to that you’ve already seen. So after a while, its ability to stimulate new thoughts in you will diminish and eventually dry up. Which isn’t very helpful for generating new ideas.
There’s an easy solution. Read a range of materials, and especially in areas you’ve never read before. Try a gardening magazine, a carpentry blog, a biography of a racing driver, or a novel set in 14th century Japan. Find stuff that’s very new to you, and it will instantly stir up new connections and ideas in your mind.
4. Visit new places. When we visit the same places the whole time, travel the same routes to work, or college or to our favourite haunts, we can become blind to everything around us. It’s as if we travel on autopilot and become immune to any fresh stimulation.
An obvious remedy is to visit a few new places, where your mind and senses are going to automatically be more alive, because of the different surroundings. Even better, take a camera, sketchbook or notebook and record everything that interests you. New ideas will be triggered left, right and centre.
5. Write freeform, edit later. Sometimes the best ideas aren’t right on the surface, beautifully formed and waiting to be plucked like a fresh juicy peach on a low branch of the tree. Sometimes the best ideas take a bit of probing, a little digging up.
A great way of doing this is to just write freeform about whatever you wish to. Even if your first few lines seem boring, or even nonsense, keep writing non-stop for at least ten minutes. As you go, you’ll find your creative mind going off at intriguing tangents that will spur exciting new thoughts and ideas. Then, simply pluck out the best bits and expand them into new creative projects.
6. Keep an ideas journal. Your mind is just as capable of having an endless supply of creative ideas as the next person, but sometimes it might not fee like that. The main reason is nearly always that you’re not capturing the ideas you do have.
Get a simple notebook or journal to become your Ideas Journal. Every time you have an idea, write it down. The more you use the journal, the more ideas you’ll notice. An added bonus is the ideas you record will magically begin to grow, so when you return to them you’ll find all kind of offshoot thoughts appearing too. Start your Ideas Journal today!
7. Believe you’re capable of having ideas. This is crucial. If you’re going around with an inner monologue that goes something like: “I’m not creative, I NEVER have any good ideas” then guess what? You’ll never have any good ideas! By believing you’re creative, you greatly increase the frequency of ideas you have.
Here’s a simple way to prove you’re creative. Imagine a small boy called Peter, who wears blue shorts and has a magic horse. Now I guarantee that you’ve already pictured Peter and his horse in your mind, and are wondering what he’s like, why the horse is magic and what adventures they might get up to. Am I right? See! You’re far more creative than you think, believe in yourself and your creativity!
These are 7 ways to have more creative ideas than you thought possible. Which tip are you going to pick and put to use first?
Ready to be more creative? Then sign up to “Create Create!” – Creativity Coach Dan Goodwin’s free twice monthly ezine – today, and get your free copy of the “Explode Your Creativity!” Action Workbook. Just head over to http://www.coachcreative.com
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