Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Getting Creative, Part 1: Never Stop Working

I want to end this year with a collection of tips to spur writing creativity. Writers never have a day off because they write from experience and they are always experiencing—even dreaming when they sleep. So let’s start with those sleeping and idle hours.

Tip 1: Keep a recording device with you at all times. Pen and paper, a mini tape recorder, or a smartphone will do. I use an old fashioned 200-page, 9 ¾" X 7 ½" lined, stitched notebook. You’ll never know when a good idea will hit you. In fact, creative people will say that from periods of deep relaxation come their greatest eureka moments, so all times means all times and all places—the bedside, the restaurant, the car, the beach, whenever and wherever.

Tapping into your creative mind does not mean straining to think; it just means writing down what you’re thinking about. No idea is insignificant. Comments you hear in passing while waiting in line at the bank, during phone conversations, while listening television commentators, and especially when reading are all fair game. So are the sights you see, from an elevator floor to the deep woods, as are the sounds you hear, the odors you smell, and the flavors you taste. Some of what you experience every day will show up in your next article, story, or play. Record them.