Enhance Your Creativity with One Simple Action
by Dennis Winge
What if there was a guaranteed way to continuously enhance your creativity by doing one simple thing every day or at least several times per week? Would you do it? What if the way was so simple, and you'd think that you heard it before, so you wouldn't actually pay attention to it and you wouldn't do it? The simple action for enhancing your creativity, in one word, is: write. That's it. Just write.
"Oh no, here we go." Perhaps that's what you are thinking. Or perhaps you thought "oh I hate writing." or "I'm no good at writing." Well the good news is, there are many different kinds of writing, hopefully at least one of which you may enjoy or at least learn to enjoy it. Second, you don't have to be 'good' at writing in order to enhance your creativity.
I. Why does Writing Enhance Creativity?
Best-selling author Brian Tracy says that writing is a "psycho-neuro motor activity" which basically means it activates your mental powers and sets your subconscious mind to work on unfinished ideas or goals. Your brain can think a lot faster than your hand can write. So when you write you are forcing your brain to slow down and focus on one thing at a time.
You may have heard books like The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron touting the benefits of freestyle writing to enhance creativity. I personally find that my "morning pages" as she calls them constantly generate ideas that I have to then write down in separate lists depending on their category (music, work, family, etc.) I have a new CD coming out consisting of 19 originals and one of the reviews said "Dennis never seems to run out of inventive ideas." I am not saying this to brag at all. It wasn't always like this for me and I honestly think that it's because I write every day that this flow of ideas is always there.
II. Types of Writing
A. Freestyle - You may have heard books like The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron touting the benefits of freestyle writing to enhance creativity. I personally find that my "morning pages" as she calls them constantly generate ideas that I have to then write down in separate lists depending on their category (music, work, family, etc.) I have a new CD coming out consisting of 19 originals and one of the reviews said "Dennis never seems to run out of inventive ideas." I am not saying this to brag at all. It wasn't always like this for me and I honestly think that it's because I write every day that this flow of ideas is always there.
B. Music - The writing could be musical. In other words, just write a section of music (8 bars, for example) a day. Or maybe even just a few chords that sound good together, or just a rhythmic groove. And by the way, you don't necessarily have to 'write' it on paper if you're recording it into a looper or computer or wherever. But, having it on paper to look at definitely helps the creative process. I cannot tell you how many times a student has brought in a new song to the lesson and I helped clarify his or her ideas simply by putting them on paper clearly for him or her to see.
C. Word Games - Suppose you are more creative on the lyrical side and you want to stimulate your mind. You could take a word and try to make as many other words you can think of that rhyme with it, for example. Or you could take a simple word and come up with all the other words you can think of that suggest the emotional quality of the word. It's a bit like the game "Taboo" but in reverse. There are many possibilities here for creativity here.
D. Brainstorming - You've heard of the game "20 Questions" but have you heard of "20 Answers"? It's where you ask as high-quality of a question as you can think of on a subject on which you are looking for ideas or a problem for which you are looking for solutions. You simply write the question at the top and you don't get up until you have come up with at least 20 answers. Put the obvious ones down as well as the ridiculous ones down. It all helps. Then chances are at least one of those ideas/ answers will be worth taking action on and can completely and easily resolve the problem or launch the idea.
E. Lists - There is the obvious type of list: the 'To Do' List. What about other types of lists like a gratitude list? When was the last time you tried to write 108 things you're grateful for? How about a list of all the places you want to visit, or all the people you want to spend more time with. The list of lists goes on and on, but the basic idea is that if it makes you feel good, it is good.
F. Affirmations - It is very effective to write out statements that something you're troubled about is being resolved or something you wish to have is on it's way.
III. You Don't Have to Be 'Good' at It
I once took a songwriting seminar that said "write for the trash can." Don't stop to evaluate your ideas, just let them flow. This is not the time nor the place to evaluate whether an idea is good or even if the writing itself is any good. I once read something about traits that geniuses have in common, and one of them was being prolific. In other words, they churned out so much material in their given field. Think about it. If you wrote 8 bars per day of music, after a year you'd have 2920 bars of music written. Don't you think that at least a few of those bars will be great? Or even better than that, don't you think that at least a third or half of them can be developed into something great?
So, "just do it." Start writing something, anything. And then observe your creativity flowing into every area of your life.
About the author: Dennis Winge is a professional guitarist living in New York with a passion for vegan food and bhakti yoga. If you are interested in taking Guitar Lessons in Newfield, NY, then be sure to contact Dennis!