Lately, I have been asked, multiple times, how I decide what to write about on this blog. As soon as I answer: “I start with a question in my mind,” the next question I’m asked is: “Where do you get your ideas AND how do you create the post based on those ideas?” Actually, what I’ve just written is a compilation of many questions relating to my blog and how I write. Ultimately, writing this blog, in the manner that I have chosen to do so, involves creativity in many ways. I approach writing it by creating a question about an “issue/problem” I’m interested in exploring, creating ideas through “research” and/or quiet thinking, and then creating the written/pictorial post.
What does the way I create a post for this blog have to do with creating a solution to a problem? Well, for me to create a post on this blog involves the same attributes and/or conditions helpful for solving problems in general. I realize many people think that creativity is not something which can be necessarily broken-down and analyzed. Some think that a person is either creative or not. I don’t agree!
I am in the “school of creative thought” ☺ which believes a person can improve her/his creativity through learning. I am not saying we can become as good or better than another person in our creative thinking, but I am saying we can always improve our current level of creativity. In other words, we should never accept that we aren’t able to be creative, nor should we ever accept that we can’t improve our creative thinking.
Ok, so I think everyone can improve her/his creative thinking and therefore, can be more creative, BUT how does one do so? Well, first and foremost, I think in order to improve creative thinking, a person should “sit quietly alone and think awhile.” The key is to be alone. Not alone as a hermit might be, but alone, inactive, and away from any busy regular routine. For helping me to improve the creative thinking needed for my blog, I have chosen a corner of my living room that has a big comfortable chair where I can go to “sit and think awhile.” Of course, I don’t always go there to create ideas, but I know it is there, as a “safe harbor” that usually affords me the quiet place to think creatively.
When I am sitting alone and thinking, what do I think? Well, frankly, I daydream! I literally try to dream without being asleep. Generally, I accomplish this by what-ifing in my mind.
For example, to write this post, I did some daydreaming about “what if someone asks me how I create a post for this blog?” I sat alone quietly and daydreamed about answering the question along with the concepts related to creating a post for the blog. I then started daydreaming about what is involved in becoming a better creative thinker. During the daydreaming part of trying to create a post about how to improve my creative thinking, I played, over and over in my mind, the important individual parts (these parts are summarized at the end of this post).
The daydreaming part is like a “brewing process” that produces bubbles 〪〫〬 of creative output. Eventually some bubbles came to the top, or forefront, of my thinking. It’s these bubbles of creative thought that became the important parts of creating a post for this blog. The next thing I did was risked my self-esteem and I “brought out my creation” or “just did it!” For this part, I needed to forget about whether or not it was reasonable.
Generally, something creative will be unique and initially, difficult to justify through history or logic. Of course, after I risked my self-esteem and just did it, I had to feel comfortable presenting it, while using my own set of standards for assessment. But, those standards for my creative output are mine AND only mine. Examples of the standards I use are “reasonableness, sincerity, originality, curiosity, …” AND always from only my point of view. In fact, I believe that part of my creative process is to create my own set of standards for each creative endeavor.
Lastly, throughout this whole creative journey, it’s important to use self-discipline. I cannot just create! I must, in a disciplined manner, have a purpose, use ideas, use and develop concepts, make implications, etc. Using my example of creating a post for this blog, I have to approach it by focusing on my overall main purpose of “writing for learning” and then focusing on the main question (usually contained in the title). The ideas and concepts have to be appropriate for the purpose(s). The point is, I have to use my critical thinking WITH my creative thinking. I think all good creative thinking makes use of critical thinking and all good critical thinking uses creative thinking.
So, what does it take to create a solution to a problem? As promised in an earlier paragraph, here is my summary:
1. Sit quietly alone and think.
2. Daydream “what-ifing.“
3. “Play” the ideas that bubble-up, over and over and over ...
4. Use self-discipline (perseverance) and critical thinking to complete and assess (with your own “created” standards) the creative endeavor.
5. Risk self-esteem and bring out the creation. Put it into action; just do it!
6. Be happy – you know you have done your creative best :-)
I realize that what I have presented here is somewhat different, but please take into consideration that I wanted to create a post using my creative thinking about how I create a creative post! :-)