Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Importance of Being Creative

Being creative has become an increasingly crucial skill in today's world.   Here are some of the things we have already learnt in class about being creative, as well as some additional information:
  • If you have writers block, you should practise free writing.  The way to do free writing is to keep typing continuously for 10 minutes without stopping.  It doesn't matter what you write about, as long as you don't stop for 10 minutes.  If you can't think of anything to write at first, then type 'I don't know what to write' repeatedly, until something comes to mind.  Doodling can have a similar application.  If you are trying to think of ideas or solve a problem, you can brainstorm and then  create a word web.
  • Make sure that you are healthy:  get enough sleep, eat well, reduce stress.  If you need to refresh your brain, take a walk outside for a change of scenery, take a break from the problem and then come back to it later, or even try working out the problem in a different room. 
  • Nurture some creative hobbies such as:  drawing or painting, crafting, learning a new instrument, or learning a new language.
  • Experiment, don't discount 'stupid' ideas, and don't be afraid to fail or make mistakes.  Ask others for input.
  • Try some brain exercise.  For example, in class, we tried a fun game called  Tanagrams.  Tanagrams is a puzzle used to increase spatial awareness.  The player receives blocks shaped like triangles and squares, and tries to arrange the shapes in such as way that they look just like a picture that has been provided.  Other such games include Sudoku, crossword puzzles, problem solving scenario games, and other logic games or puzzles. 
  • Another game that we tried in class is to look at a paperclip and try to think of as many alternative uses for it as you can.  This is effective if you want to practise innovation.  If you want more practise with innovation, you should try to think of alternative view points, instead of just your own, when reading or listening to a problem or issue.  It is important to expose yourself to a variety of viewpoints on different issues.
  • Find out what your strengths are, and how you receive and interpret information, using the Theory of Multiple Intelligences.  There are eight categories: Spatial, Linguistic, Logical-mathematical, Bodily-kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Naturalistic.  Knowing how you interpret the world around you will help you process information better.  There are many different type of intelligence, not just one, as we previously thought.
  • To be creative and stimulate your mind, it is important to try all sorts of new experiences,  expose yourself to all sorts of different viewpoints, and look at different angles for a given problem.   Novel experiences or thoughts create a chemical reactions in your brain that ultimately act to increase your cognitive potential.  Contrary to popular belief, all types of intelligence, including creative intelligence, are at least to some extent, fluid and learnable.  So challenge yourself in all aspects of life.
There are lots more ideas  at
There are lots of free brain and creativity games that are available on on the Internet as well. 

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