How Trump Sparked My Creativity
Today I have to start writing the next song for my show.
Nope. No ideas.
Caffeine didn’t help.
The fear of a looming deadline didn’t do it.
Forcing myself to just sit the heck down at my desk didn’t just make it magically happen.
It was Trump. Specifically the comment that the 3,000 Puerto Ricans who died from the hurricane, didn’t actually die. (Seriously. Read the article here.)
Okay, well, yep that did it.
NOW I’ve got something to write about.
But this is not a political blog, today. No, it’s one on creativity.
Where do we get our juice, our ideas, our muse from?
For some of us (present company included) we get inspired by being pissed off. Or sometimes from seeing or hearing something funny. Sometimes just a glimpse of something or a word or a song or a photo or a spicy tuna roll.
It doesn’t take much.
But you can’t create in a vacuum. (Check out my 3 minute video about that here.)
We are halfway through writing our new comedy show that opens in, eek, 9 weeks from today.
So after a morning of plodding around the apartment whining to my co-writer husband Soren that I had nothing (“Nothing!”) to write about today, I did what I teach others to do. Duh. I thought:
“Go. Fill. Your. Well.”
So I did. I read the paper, watched a few videos, walked down the street with an observers eye, chatted with others at my co-working office, and then read, read, read.
Writers read. So that the reader can write.
So try this: Go outside or just get out of your chair, and move to a different spot or street. Look around. Let your eye wander. Find the first thing that grabs your attention. A small dog? A piece of crumbling graffiti on a wall? A weirdly shaped brick in the building? A bright graphic on someone’s tee shirt? The unusual shape of the torn piece of toilet paper? (Bathrooms are the venue of some of the best ideas historically on the planet. Ask any creative person.)
Next, tell yourself a fictional story about that thing you saw or write it down or record it into your phone. 60 seconds. No thinking. Go.
Need more help? Okay, you have to include the words “responsible” and “pterodactyl” in it. Don’t think. Go.
Do this every day.
Or every time you’re stuck.
Then throw it away or use it. Either way you’re now Officially More Creative than you were 60 seconds ago.
Take this knowledge that you have something to say with you through the rest of your day.
If you want, for fun, post it – even on my page and I’ll share it.
But never again look at a blank page and think, “Yeah I should be able to come up with something out of the blue. What’s wrong with me??”
What’s wrong is that that’s not how the right brain works.
The right brain is like a vending machine. Put something in it to get something to pop out of it.
And don’t kick it.
That rarely works and you’ll break your toe.