Hello, my fellow creatives! I have one more notion for you on attacking those creative problems and figuring out a way to keep moving forward on all your creative projects. Last month in Sleep On It, I suggested giving your subconscious mind an assignment at bedtime. This month, we’ll change things up by using a tactic that seems too simple to work…and yet, weirdly enough, it often does. The method? Writing big. Continue reading
Last month we talked about saving our shavings in Need a Trim? This month, we’ll talk about incubating our ideas overnight.
Sometimes in a creative project, the next step can be daunting. Either something doesn’t feel right about the next action we’d planned to take, or we’re faced with a series of options, none of which seem good. Being stuck is no fun. There is an alternative to forcing your way over the hump, though. Many researchers believe the subconscious mind is a great creative problem solver, if we can figure out how to get out of its way and let it do the work…while we’re asleep!
What Happens in Bed?
There are multiple theories about what happens to us while we sleep, and why sleep is necessary. The Programming-Reprogramming theory states that while we sleep, we process and consolidate memories. If this is the case, maybe the analysis and sorting function serves to clarify which solutions to a creative problem will be the most effective.
Last month we talked about gathering up as many ideas as we could with relentless capture. This month, the focus swings to discarding things that aren’t working by creating a special place to save the pieces you trim away.
“Don’t throw that food away. What about the starving kids in China?” Maybe you’re not old enough to have heard this while you were growing up. Even so, to most people, “wastefulness” is a dirty word.
Few of us are eager to engage in activities that are a waste of time. Think about the legend of Sisyphus. He tried to cheat death, although it finally caught up with him. Once in the afterlife, he was given a punishment of rolling a stone up a hill, only to have it roll back down before it reached the top, leaving him to start all over again. In this scenario, wasted effort isn’t just daunting; it’s hell!
Welcome to another inspiration-filled episode of Notion Potion, your monthly shot of creative juiciness. Last month we talked about finding the silver lining in your dark creativity cloud by using problems to your advantage in Probing the Problem. This month, let’s see if we can prevent good ideas from slipping through our fingers. Continue reading
Welcome back to Notion Potion, your monthly shot of inspiration! Last month we looked at ways over, around and through the creative wall. This month, let’s look at ways your projects can actually turn out better, or at least more interesting, because of their snags.
Have you ever been in the middle of a recipe, and then realized you were out of a crucial ingredient? Yes, you could go out in the raging blizzard and drive to the store and get that one darn thing you’re missing…or maybe, just maybe, you can improvise. This happened to me recently when I needed to substitute coriander for cardamom (or was it the other way around) in a squash soup, and I was pretty happy with the result. Continue reading
It’s time again for Notion Potion, a stiff shot of inspiration to get you charged up and ready to roll on all your various creative projects! Last month we talked about habits and routines that make room for the creative mind to wander and find new discoveries. But what about those times when the sameness is not so much a comforting routine…but a weird rut?
When you’re at a stuck point in a project, it feels like a brick wall has risen up out of the ground, leaving you there bashing your head against it. A sense of helplessness usually accompanies this stuck point. “But there’s a problem with X,” your brain keeps telling you. The scene you’re writing isn’t working. You can’t figure out how to set the sleeve in. Something’s “off” about your color or composition but you’re not sure what. In all likelihood, there is a solution to your problem…but first you’ll need to stop bashing your head against that wall long enough to dredge up some new ideas. Here are three ways to nudge yourself around the creative wall so you can stop battering your forehead against it. Continue reading
It’s time to quench your creativity thirst with another good swig of Notion Potion and get those creative juices flowing. This month, let’s explore the pros and cons of habits!
Yea or Nay?
Many creativity blogs and lists encourage us to make small changes. Try a new food. Shop at a different store. Leave your house via the back door rather than the front. By doing something small and out of the ordinary, the theory goes, we shake up our creative thinking. We begin looking at old things new ways. We make new and exciting connections that spark our creativity.
It’s time again for another sip of creativity juice from Notion Potion, a refreshing elixir for all sorts of creative types. Last month we talked about the stymieing effect of excessive perfectionism. This month, let’s have some fun while we go shopping for ideas!
SHOPPING FOR IDEAS
Writers often claim it frustrates them when fans inquire where they get their ideas. I’ve never had an issue with this question, probably because the answer, if one were to really consider it, must be utterly fascinating and as individual as our DNA.
It’s time to rev our creativity engines and fuel them up for our next big project. It could be writing—lots of writers here—or it could be visual art, music, cooking, digital projects or anything else that puts you in that satisfying creative zone. If you’re running dry, here’s a little something to top off your tank—Notion Potion, where this month we’ll tackle the insidious issue of perfectionism! Continue reading
Hello from Jordan Castillo Price! It’s that time again—time for another sip of Notion Potion. Hopefully you’ve dissuaded your inner creativity-bully (like we talked about last month in Don’t Make Yourself Hurl) and you’re ready to ramp up your creative endeavors. To take your projects to a higher level, consider shifting your focus to quality.
Imagine the following scenario: you sit down to a dinner that’s been lovingly prepared for you. All the cooking’s been done. All the cleanup will be handled. Your host emerges from the kitchen with a silver dome-covered platter. It smells like food, and though you can’t quite place the aroma, given the surroundings, it’s almost sure to be something completely fabulous. Your host places the platter in front of you—and up close, it’s even bigger than you imagined. Your stomach growls. You’re salivating. You can’t wait.
The dome is lifted, and you behold…. Continue reading
Welcome back to Notion Potion! I hope you were inspired by last month’s post about the way tiny steps toward a project can really add up. This month we’ll take a look at a creativity-bully that’s nearly impossible to shake: ourselves.
Prepare to be Punished
Watching reality shows is one of my not-so-guilty pleasures. I love listening to people’s more-or-less unscripted dialog, and I’m always intrigued by the way a narrative is created later by what the show’s editors choose to omit, how they splice things together, and what sort of music is played in the background. (Usually if you mute the ominous music, whatever’s happening is not particularly ominous!)
So I was watching Work Out, a show about a personal trainer in Beverly Hills, and a 270-lb client came to her for help. This was intriguing! All the other clients at her gym were already in great shape. I was eager to see how they’d handle this more “real” person who I could relate to.
And then they worked her out until she puked.
Welcome, old friends and new, to Notion Potion, which Wave has so generously offered to host! What’s it all about? Everyone who visits this blog is interested in a creative endeavor: writing, blogging, reviewing, and crafting—even reading, in which we “create” stories in our mind’s eyes based on some squiggles we’re decoding from a page.
Many of us yearn to embrace the natural creativity that we could experience in our day-to-day lives…if we weren’t ground down by lack of time, money and energy, of the criticisms of others, and the big, free-floating miasma of discouragement hovering over our heads. It’s my hope that by indulging me as I talk about my ideas on creativity, you’ll find yourself left with a little extra juice to embark on that project of your own you’ve been itching to enjoy.