“The wise learn from the experience of others, and the creative know how to make a crumb of experience go a long way.” — Eric Hoffer
Do you ever feel your creativity is at an all time low? Everything you do is a rehash of what you did when your creativity burst like fireworks on the Fourth of July? Your bucket comes up dry from your fresh-ideas well?
Try this method and feel your creative juices start to rumble and bubble deep within you.
Step 1 – Observe
Grab your laptop or a sheet of paper and a pen and sit in three different places for 5 minutes. Make sure:
- one is a favorite room inside,
- one is a less favorite setting like a laundry room or bathroom,
- and one is outside.
During your 5 minutes in each place inspect items around you and list 3 things that delight you.
In a favorite nook, I enjoy the hand-carved leaves and flowers of a table from India. The details on the fireplace iron insert surprise me in how the designer combined art, simplicity, and function. Studying the ends of the magazine rack shaped like a musician’s lyre, I recall why I bought it at an antique mall.
In the laundry room, I like the convenience of the hand-wash function on the washing machine. The curved sides of the stacked washer and dryer. And the sunny wall color someone named Cloudy Sunset.
Outside, I delight in the bright yellow and black goldfinches on our feeder. The furry bunny licking the dew from the earthy slate on our back porch. Today’s sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains. And the new red Gerbera daisy that opened this morning.
Now imagine the creator of each thing you listed, the artisan, designer, or inventor. Picture his excitement about his idea, his enjoyment at each stroke of his hand, and his reluctance to leave his creation at lunchtime. Imagine another’s mental pictures as she considered how you would receive her handiwork. Her hope you’d delight in a particular aspect.
Step 3 – Thank
Take a moment and mentally thank each creator for his gift, his willingness to learn his craft, his work, his perseverance, and his desire to make life a little better for you. I’m thanking the woodcarver, the iron inset designer, the paint colorist, and God for their creations.
Step 4 – Ask
- A time-saving idea for your blog
- An historical romance about an iron fireplace inset maker
- A painting to capture God’s awesome sunrise
- An interesting shape to add to your pottery
- A children’s story about a thirsty bunny
- An article about perseverance in your art
- Earrings in the shape of lyres
Even if an idea for your next creation fails to strike you immediately, do something that calls you to create. Think of those close to you who could use a boost.
- A doll on a shelf inspires making paper dolls for your daughters.
- A lyre magazine rack sparks writing a love song for your wife.
- A cake on a magazine cover instigates decorating cupcakes for your kindergarten class to resemble each child’s face in skin, hair, and eye color and adding their initials.
The bigger ideas will come now that you’re back in action.
Please share an idea you had while stepping through this method.
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