An Exercise in Creativity

by Julian Ryder, Founder + Chief Creative Officer

Google the word creative and you’ll get 598 million hits. Take the time to read all the pages and watch all the videos and you'll become an authority on creativity. Unfortunately, the one thing you won't be is more creative. Being creative is not about how much knowledge you have or something to attain, being creative is a place one comes from. It’s an internal conversation you and I have about ourselves that says I am creative or I am not creative.  

 The Brain Dictionary, Nature VIDeo 

Popular culture tells us that people are either left-brain thinkers or right brain thinkers. Left brain thinkers are analytical, logical and objective. Right-brain thinkers are creative, emotional and intuitive. If you’re like most people you consider yourself to be one way or the other. The truth is, the left-brain right-brain notion is a myth and we’ve all been fooled by it. Neuroscience has proven that everyone is creative and everyone has the ability to tap into their creative potential. Creativity is a natural part of what makes us human – and it requires practice.

Here's a writing exercise to get you going. It's called Three Words and it's designed to put people directly into the experience of being creative. Follow these instructions to test it out for yourself. 

Set a timer for five minutes. 

Using your computer or a pen and paper (whichever you write fastest on) take these three words, Octopus, Peach, Sun and write a story or narrative or poem or whatever you would like. Write as much and as fast as you possibly can making sure to include the three words. Do this for five minutes until the timer goes off. Do not stop. Do not make corrections. Do not pause to think. Just write as fast and as much as you possibly can. If you find yourself stopped, notice it and get back to writing. Try to write between 100 and 250 words.

If you completed this five minute exercise, you’ve tapped into your creativity–the act of making something. Was what you wrote unexpected and unpredictable? Were you surprised that what you wrote came out of you? The key to improving your creative skills is practice. Also, you may want to consider altering that internal conversation to one that now says, I'm creative.