Creativity Archives - Page 3 of 19 - Craft Your Content

Category Archives for Creativity

7 Unconventional Ways to Find Content Ideas

Let’s face it, as writers, we all need fresh ideas from time to time. Sometimes writer’s block will rear its ugly head, and we’re just… stuck. Though often creativity seems to spring uninhibited, too fast for us writers to even organize it, sometimes the well of creativity runs dry, and we struggle to put one word after another. 

But here’s the funny part.

Though a writer needs creativity, the reverse is also true: Creativity needs a writer! In other words, creativity needs us to go out and experience the world, try new things, and overall be active. New ideas come from the most seemingly mundane experiences, as long as we keep our options open.

In this post, I’ll share with you seven ways to develop ideas for your writing that you may not have considered before. Try these activities, approaching them with an open mind and your creative side ready, and you might be surprised. 

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creative procrastination

The Dynamics of Creative Procrastination

One of the greatest inventors/entrepreneurs of all time, Thomas Edison (you can call him the man that illuminated the world), had the habit of taking a nap whenever he was stymied by a problem. Cornell University Social Psychologist James Maas brilliantly named it “the power nap.” 

For context, there are four stages of sleep. In about 20 minutes, you enter Stage Two. Stage Two is the state of memory consolidation, in which information you’ve learned is processed. Waking out of stage two has shown increased productivity, higher cognitive functioning, enhanced memory, boosted creativity, and feeling less tired. 

Thomas Edison made the most of this body chemistry as a productivity technique to create some of the best inventions known to man. On a wider level of abstraction, this technique is founded on taking some time off a task (technically, procrastination) and letting your brain wander subconsciously, looking for answers. 

This technique, at the crux of it, is basically what creative procrastination is all about, the point being to take time off a task after working on it for some time. While the conscious part of the mind is resting or focused on something else, the subconscious part of the mind is working overtime to consolidate information and solve problems.

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Need Writing Inspiration? Try Roleplay

As writers, staying inspired is one of our biggest challenges. Sometimes the juices stop flowing, and you’ll try anything to get your mojo back. There are many different techniques writers use to stimulate creativity, such as brainstorming, reading, going on an adventure, and meditating. Some techniques are conventional, while others are unusual. 

One of the most unconventional methods is roleplay … or so I thought. When I was in grad school studying negotiation, often my professors would have the class roleplay a scenario so that we could practice different tactics that we had learned in class. 

Roleplaying allowed me to become someone else, a character. I improvised every aspect of the character—their personality, the way they talked, background information, storylines—and tried to use this character that I created to my advantage to negotiate the best deal with my classmate. 

Not only was it fun, but as the character, I could try different negotiation skills that I wouldn’t try as myself because they’re not my personal style. My character, however, did not have any reservations about the tactics used. Through roleplay, I was able to improve my skillset and practice other negotiation strategies that I wouldn’t have otherwise. 

Roleplaying can help you generate inspiration for your writing, too. 

Out of all of the methods I have tried, I have found that roleplaying helps me to embody the character or story you want to tell, making the words fall onto the page effortlessly. Not only can roleplaying be used as a mechanism for stimulating creativity in writing fiction, but it also can be used in other types of writing such as nonfiction and copywriting. Let me explain what roleplaying is and how you can use it to spark creativity in your own writing. 

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Why Writers Write. Hint: it’s not for Fame, Money, or Glory

The art of writing is considered a natural thing by many. For the most part, we are all taught to write at a very young age. We go through the process of learning letters to make words and then combining these words to make sentences. It is something we do every day. But, writing as a craft is something that is not natural. It takes practice. Over and over again.

In Bad Ideas about Writing by Ball and Loewe, one chapter written by Holbrook and Hundley states that “The belief that writing emerges, Athena-like, fully developed from the writer’s head minimizes both the labor involved and the expectation that writing is a skill that can be improved.” The authors go on to say that, “The view that writing is effortless and done on the side by extraordinary people dismisses the real effort writers put into their work….” 

The truth is, writing is hard. It takes time, effort, and the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears. And still, writers write.

Why, you may wonder. 

Writers write for many different, often personal, reasons, and they learn to take rejection and criticism as part of the life-long writing process. Perhaps writing is best summed up by poet and writer Daniela Perfetti R, “I write to create words in which I want to live when it’s difficult for me to inhabit my own skin. I write because, by writing, I build a path towards myself and connect with my essence, with my being. I write because by doing so, I return to myself.”

Let’s take a look at the various reasons that might motivate a writer, and, who knows; you might discover a thing or two about yourself—or the writer in your life!

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