Question of the Day 001

from Melissa A.

How can I get more creativity into (or out of) my everyday life?

This is an awesome question, and I am really going to try to answer it comprehensively and honestly. It is a tough question to tackle without getting into my personal struggle with finding creativity in life, so I’ll sprinkle some anecdotal evidence in what will mostly be thoughts and observations, as well as a few exercises that I think (hope!) will be useful. EDIT: I think I am going to make this subject an ongoing theme, as well. Thinking more about it, there is just so much to talk about.

To start this off, though, here is a list of things to stimulate creativity.
  1. Look at everything upside-down. I guarantee that if you walk around the city half-bent-over, arms waving at your side, you will be seeing things you’ve never seen, and thinking of things you’ve never thought. Or at least the people walking by you will. And their reactions should be just unique enough, just passionate enough to deserve a painting, or a few choice poetic words on paper. I guess more generally this tip could be called “Provoke.” Create situations in your life that cause unusual, novel reactions, and you’ll never fail to find delight in the world, even if the reactions are negative.
  2. Close your eyes for ten minutes every day. I like to do this while watching television, or on the subway. This is not a nap. You should be alert, attentive, and attuned to all the sounds, smells, and feelings around you. Don’t time yourself. Guess. If you do it enough, eventually you will know exactly how long ten minutes is, and that is impressive. Then increase it to 20 minutes. There are no other rules. Just keep your eyes closed, and listen. Every day.
  3. Do something impossible. Genetically engineer a Unicorn, run 50,000 miles in under 4 minutes, eat the whole thing, build a time machine (and really work to make it functional!). Attempt something you think can’t be done. And really, truly, work on it. Do research, make prototypes - whatever it is, just keep trying to create it.
  4. Cook something super-fancy. Pretend Bobby Flay or Rachael Ray or whoever your favority celebrity chef might be is coming over for dinner. Make something that will cause their eyes to light up (in a good way). The only catch - no recipe allowed. And you have to eat it once it is done. No exceptions.
  5. Get a pencil. Sharpen it. Don’t stop writing until you need to sharpen it again. Keep doing this until it is just an eraser. Push yourself. Far. Physically, mentally - keep pushing.
  6. Teach yourself something new. Find a book, or a website, and keep reading and actually do what is taught. Learn something you’ve always wanted to know how to do. Or brush up on something you haven’t done in ages.
  7. Force yourself to just do it. Just create. No excuses. Make something. Now.
More coming, another day. But hope this gets you started. Let me know if you try any of these, and whether or not they worked for you.

And have you got a question for the Question of the Day? Leave a comment with it, or email me (if you want to remain anonymous) at kevinmichaelkeating at gmail dot com.