I picked this up from a photographer’s marketing thingey called Heartstorming, but I think it all applies to writing. The point that resonates most with me is to stop the insane self-editing while you’re creating. They use different parts of the brain, and it’s “zone” death to go back, go back, go back when your heart wants you to go forward.
Hope a little of this helps anyone who is stuck!
Be Positive – Suspend disbelief and keep a positive attitude. This world is filled with enough nay-saying.
Limit Judgment – Judging your ideas as you are producing them is like driving the car with the brake and accelerator on at the same time. While you are producing ideas, the pedal should be to the metal. The time to put on the brakes is when you are choosing which ideas to produce. Beware of inner voices of judgment. How many times have you had a good idea you talked you out of?
Detach from an Outcome – I recommend that you detach from a specific outcome when you creating new work. This means that when an idea comes up which produces the Eureka! response, execute the idea because your heart tells you to do it. Do not measure ideas by whether they will appeal to your [agent, editor, pub house] stock agency, your portfolio, art buyers, picture editors, or… The only criteria ought to be that you love the idea enough to do what ever it takes to bring it into being.
Hitchhiking – Allow others to add to your idea. Your idea may stimulate something in a collaborator. Do not have so much pride in your idea that you think you own it. Give it away. There is an endless supply of ideas in the universe. As you can see by my entries, each concept may generate dozens of additional concepts. No two creators would interpret them the same way. And the purpose of this program is to stimulate you to produce your own concepts. And hitchhike on your own ideas by going back to your idea journal and reviewing and harvesting. One idea will often produce others related or not.
Quantity – Go for quantity. The more ideas the better. You have a better chance of coming up with an innovation, if there are dozens of ideas rather than just a few. Studies show that the first idea is rarely the best. The first half of ideas produced in a prolonged period of time were compared with those of the second half. The later contained 78% more good ideas. Imagine there are two sealed paper bags. One has one hundred ideas. The other has ten. Each bag costs $5.00 and you may only choose one. Chances are you would pick the bag with a hundred ideas because there is a better chance of finding a stimulating idea.
Write it Down – Write everything down as you are processing or you will forget it. Even the best human brain can not hold more than seven variables at a time. I like to keep a large pad with juicy markers handy. It helps me think bigger. When you have an idea write it down quickly. Trying to hold onto a thought may prevent you from coming up with your next idea. It contributes to creative block. Keep an idea journal.
Limit Editorializing – Many of us love our ideas so much that we feel a need to explain them over and over to ourselves and perhaps others. Don’t waste time and space explaining your ideas until you have chosen one to produce.
Incubate – This means sleep on it. When you begin ideating you may come up with hundreds of ideas. They will come to you when you least expect it like when you are driving and taking a shower or that moment of somnolence just before you fall asleep. Keep your journal at the side of your bed so you may record those moments or you will forget them. Include your dreams in this journal.
Have Fun – Creating should be a celebratory experience. Be playful.
Be Conscious Of Your Body – Problem solving is an activity that originates in the brain. Heartstorming comes from the body. We feel in our bodies not our heads. Use your body to check-in: to focus on your feelings. For example, I often have a burning sensation in my throat when I am feeling fear. It reminds me that I am not saying something that represents my truth.