“When I teach critical and creative thinking, I often get push-back from students who use some version of “I’m just not creative” to deny any ability to think differently than they are programmed.
This makes me crazy … and presents a challenge to help them realize that everyone has some creative ability. We just have to realize and claim it.
Here are three suggestions to stir your creative juices, in no particular order, and without claim to be the most effective. They just work for me …
USE COLORED WRITING INSTRUMENTS …
Yes, black and white both count as colors – never mind the technical definition. Move beyond the business colors (Black, Blue, Red, and Green) and experiment. Make your notes in Purple or Brown, or even in Magenta:).
Try not to assign a code to the use of a color … just use whatever color you choose, find interesting, or that comes to hand when you reach for a pen.
You may not be any smarter for using colors, but you’ll have more fun taking notes in meetings. … and NO, it’s not the same when you electronically select a color for your font on your tablet, Ipad, or notebook. I’m talking real, old-fashioned writing here.
LOOK FOR ALLITERATION …
I recently read a passage from a very old book, which included a description of a long-neglected attic. The words “Cobwebs” and “Clutter” jumped out at me.
Right now, I have no idea what will come of these two words, but the sound of them together makes for an interesting title. “Cobwebs and Clutter” … you will see this again someday.
Words can spur our imagination. Be aware of the words you see and read, and open your mind to new uses for them.
MEMORIZE A Shel Silverstein POEM …
You don’t have to WRITE poetry to be creative. Just learn the words and say them out loud. Okay, you can memorize anyone’s poem, but I think Shel Silverstein is a great choice to stimulate your thinking.
It is difficult to not include more inflection and dramatic flair when you are reading and saying “Where The Sidewalk Ends” or “One Sister For Sale“. Here’s an easy one to start you off:
Oh, if you’re a bird, be an early bird
And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.
If you’re a bird, be an early early bird—
But if you’re a worm, sleep late.
Shoot … you might even find some good learning as you go. For example, the above little poem has some solid thinking about how our perspective changes based on our role.
These three suggestions are NOT the only or the best ways to be creative, but they usually work for me.
Trying to memorize “Sarah Sylvia Cythnia Stout“, who would not take the dishes out in the Heartland …