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[edit] Overview

Effective action is based on superior information. However, awesome action is a result of creativity. Here we discuss practices which generate creative ideas.

[edit] Techniques

  • Take two seemingly disparate views to synthesize a third idea which either: encompasses both or neither.
    • Example: examine daily entries from two books, one concerning "inner" awareness and another about "outer" practices, 365 Nirvana: Here and Now edited by Josh Baran, and The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker. The disparity comes from the contrast between Buddhist views of the world, and methodology of a top-notch adviser to corporate executives.
    • For praxis, it is most helpful to question the nebulous unstated assumptions which frame the disparate views. Static ideas which appear to be divergent can sometimes be reframed in a new creative context to become dynamically (or dialectically) reciprocative. --gochess 20:21, 29 Apr 2005 (EDT)
  • Instead of resisting an opposing force, follow through on it and let it dissipate on its own.
    • Sometimes being creative means NOT giving energy to our natural instincts and inclinations. This is perhaps counter-intuitive to the notion of creativity itself -- but that's the dynamics of its essence -- questioning polarities.
    • Praxis examples: judo, and other martial arts; adversarial negotiations. --gochess 11:10, 30 Apr 2005 (EDT)
    • Nota bene: at the creative stage, do not let your inner editor interfere.
    • Write five words -- literally. Put five completley random words on a piece of paper. Write five more words. Try a sentence. Could be about anything. A block ends when you start making words on a page.
    • Sit down and write anything for an arbitrary period of time -- say, 10 minutes to start. Don’t stop, no matter what. Cover the monitor with a manila folder if you have to. Keep writing, even if you know what you're typing is gibberish, full of misspellings, and grammatically psychopathic. Get your hand moving and your brain will think it’s writing. Which it is. See? (For more details and tips, see 43folders source Hack your way out of writer's block).
  • Write affirmations. Creating things can be scary; pumping up your self-esteem can be helpful. Handwrite a cheezy declaration of success such as "I paint skilled and evocative landscapes" over and over until you accept it. Then go to work.

{Add your favorite techniques here.}

[edit] Useful Oblique Strategies

  • from the 4th edition by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt:
    • "Change specifics to ambiguities."
    • "Discover your formulas and abandon them."
    • "Listen to the quiet voice."
    • "Magnify the most difficult details."
    • "Remove a restriction."
  • from Brian Eno's diary:
    • "Instead of changing the thing, change the world around it." (9 August)
    • "Take away as much mystery as possible. What is left?" (30 December)

[edit] Incomplete Manifesto

Written in 1998 by Bruce Mau, here are some selections from his Incomplete Manifesto:

  • 6. Capture accidents. The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions.
  • 8. Drift. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.
  • 9. Begin anywhere. John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.
  • 18. Stay up late. Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you're separated from the rest of the world.

[edit] Quotes

  • "Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or doing it better." - John Updike (attributed)
  • "For the neurotic, the merging of the subconscious and the conscious may be risky, just as it is for the users of drugs. But for the writer who is aware of the way in which this connection exists in reality and nourishes creativity, the sooner he can achieve a synthesis among intellect, emotion, and instinct, the sooner his work will be integrated." - Anais Nin, The Novel of the Future
  • "Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled; to concentrate; to accept conflict and tension; to be born everyday; to feel a sense of self." - Erich Fromm (attributed)
  • "Without freedom of choice there is no creativity." - James T. Kirk, "The Return of the Archons"

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] See also

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