Saturday, May 1, 2010

How to Get the Creative Juices Flowing

My blogging buddy, Bill, whom I've mentioned before, illustrates a terrific example of creativity in the most recent post on his blog.  (I'll give you the link later, so as not to encourage you to click away from me!)

He yammers on in his post about the way he routinely attributes human qualities to inanimate objects, such as vitamins and toilet tissue.  His blog post is hilarious and brings to mind the way children can take a mundane event and spin a wild tale.

Which, in turn, leads me to think about free-association and how we writers can utilize the same creative skills when the failure to come up with a single good idea plagues us.

Gabriele Lusser Rico wrote a book called Writing the Natural Way, which focuses on right brain/left brain issues and how a method of free-association she calls clustering helps writers access their creativity.  It is possibly one of the best books I've ever read. By using techniques she recommends, or by following Bill's example and pretending to be a pretzel and imagining what will happen when some human's hand reaches into your home (er...bag), you can access creativity you never realized existed.

When my children were very small, the four of us used to climb onto my bed before bedtime, and create stories.  One of us would begin with a premise:  Once upon a time, a gerbil escaped his cage and climbed into a bird cage inhabited by...  Another of us would continue the story and we'd take turns, transforming a silly premise into a wild and hairy adventure.  Much like the story I tried to get going several blogposts ago with the handsome couple sitting on the bus.  The assassin is my son's girlfriend and the handsome guy is--you guessed it--my son.  (Thank goodness they both have good sense of humor and love me!)

What do YOU do to get those creative juices flowing?

P.S.  Here is the link to Bill's funny blogpost and to Gabriele Lusser Rico's website.


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I

    would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have

    enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Alena,

    Thank you for your kind words!