In my ongoing effort to keep the creative fire burning, I’m listening to a book called “How to Think Like Einstein” by Scott Thorpe. While I don’t ever expect to attain genius status, I’ve picked up some helpful hints for jumpstarting my creativity.
According to Thorpe, our main problem is that we get stuck in thinking ruts. When we’re trying to solve a problem, we tend to come up with the same five answers because we’re stuck in those ruts.
The author’s suggestion? Pick an option that seems completely unrelated and start brainstorming. If I’m trying to figure out how my hero and heroine should meet, I would choose something off the wall and think of ways it could solve my problem. The more outrageous, the better!
If I chose a grapefruit, I would then brainstorm all the ways a grapefruit could bring the couple together. Feel free to laugh at my ideas and your own. If the process is fun, you'll come up with even better ideas. Let’s see…
· She could have an allergic reaction to the fruit and end up under his care in the ER
· She could throw it at his head
· He could compare her breasts to grapefruits and get slapped for his efforts
· He could be an expert in grapefruit diseases coming to help her orchard with its dying trees
· She could have a bicycle accident when his grapefruit rolls away and strikes her wheel
The point is to come up with as many ideas as you can, and let yourself go off on tangents. Don’t throw out anything, because the most implausible idea may lead you to something else that’s perfect.
I’m still learning how to get out of my ruts, and keep my stories fresh. How do you stoke your creative fire?