Category: Creative Thinking

Creativity and the tools we use

I’ve visited the room where Dylan Thomas did much of his writing and also the tiny shed where Roald Dahl wrote. Something that struck me about these amazing writers, was how extremely typical their surroundings were.

Nothing fancy. Just a space to create, where they could think and work.

The mechanics are secondary

Often, we get caught up in the mechanics of creativity. What software to work with… which type of computer to use.

I think to a lesser or greater degree, these are stalling tactics. Find the mix that feels right for you, then create.

The rest is largely unimportant.

Find your shipping recipe

Lets do this

An early morning, with a notebook and some coffee or green tea. That’s what does it for me. That’s the recipe to get my mind flowing with ideas and for those ideas to get shipped. In my case, shipped means written up for my readers. I get ideas all day, but I have found that early mornings work best for getting those ideas transformed from thoughts into things.

It doesn’t matter what works for you

What matters is that you find your recipe, to get the ideas flowing and shipped. Practice. Try things. Change the media from pen to pencil. From computer to tablet. From keyboard to paint. From guitar to sound sequencer.

It doesn’t matter, just so long as it works for you… so long as it gets the idea from your head into; the marketplace, the world, the community, the clients hands or into the readers inbox. Steve Jobs was right, real artists ship. So, find your shipping recipe and get your art out there.

A cure for writer’s block

writers block

People often ask me for advice on how to cure writer’s block. They note that I write extremely regularly and want to know my secret. Whilst there is no secret, I can tell you how I have avoided writer’s block for the past 25 years, with 100% success.

Here’s how it works.

A typical writer’s block story

I heard a writer on the radio once, who claimed to have a serious case of writer’s block. She went on to say that the thought of a blank screen filled her with so much fear that it made her sick to her stomach.

The chap interviewing her immediately responded with; “So, why don’t you just start writing something, so there are some words on the screen? You can always edit it later.”

There was a silence for a few uncomfortable seconds, before she replied; “I never thought of that. I’ll give it a go.”

I have no idea whether the writer tried the common sense suggestion from the interviewer or not. However, if she did, she would find that it cured her writer’s block.

The best cure for writer’s block

The way to cure writer’s block… is to write.

Writer’s block is more about fear, than the inability to think or write. How can we be so sure that this is the case? Simple: Writing is just like speaking and we can all speak whenever we choose.

If we can speak, we can write. If you can say it, write it down — goodbye writer’s block!

Are you waiting for inspiration? Here it is!

Here is maybe the best kept secret of the world’s most successful writers.

You don’t wait for inspiration to arrive… you command inspiration to arrive!

As the author Peter De Vries once said: “I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at 9:00 every morning.”

Here are some more thoughts on inspiration, from Steve Jobs and Picasso.