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One Small Step at a Time © Jill Badonsky
Awe-Manac : Rules of Creative Liberation ~ Part II

Rules of Creative Liberation ~ Part II: Un-rules

One Small Step at a Time © Jill BadonskyBy Jill Badonsky

This is the second of two columns (first one is here) sharing the Rules of Creative Liberation: Approaches that make working with a writing or art prompt easier and more … creative. (This is brought to you from the collection of Awe-manac Excerpts That Did Not Make it to Publication Because the Book was Getting Too Darn Big).

The purpose of un-rules is to help liberate you from the habits that developed in the rigid world of academia or according to some delusion cooked up by your inner critic. Once liberated from outdated, high-pressured parameters you can begin to understand that the rules most important to YOUR creative process are born of impulses that emerge from your non-linear, present-triggered, wise, and juicy intuition. The intuition is the holy grail of the creative process (just saw Spam-a-lot).

  1. When reading a creative prompt, or in the case of The Awe-manac, an "Aha-phrodisiac", notice what your first "obvious" instinct is and then start writing or creating after you come to your third instinct. In other words, go beyond the predictable to a new place. Try a different point of view or even a different genre: a how to, detective genre, melodrama, science fiction slant, from the point of view of a child, of a reporter, a policeman, a bell-hop, a piece of popcorn, a werewolf, a cupcake.

  2. But then again — your first instinct may be the best one. Trust your instincts, trust your energy, trust your enjoyment, not your desire to please someone else…ick but also know that there is more than one write answer. …um...right answer.

  3. Love is a many splendored thing but, as your spell-check will tell you, "splendored" is not a word. And YOU can make up words too. Coffee is a many caffeinated thing, naps are a many enjoyabled thing, dark chocolate is a many essentialled thing, whatever. Moreover, also, and besides optional grammar is elective during the initial creative of processes.

  4. Have fun — set your words free into a many liberated, flowing flying dream on caffeine (even if you've had to give up caffeine because your doctor told you that you've maxed out your adrenal glands which made you want to sleep all the time which did not beget any creative act).

  5. If you don't like the creative prompt you've been given, feel free to pick a topic or realm based on your own intuitive nudges. Or here are some that seem to fit the bill when the prompts provided don't:

    1. Begin with one of these sentences:

      ~ This prompt just makes me think of…

      ~ My mind was hijacked by a…(mood, preoccupation, your location in an existential angst).

      ~ I refuse to…

    2. The Art of Rebellion

    3. Something dark, dooms-like and depressing — often a hotbed of creative mobilization.

    4. An obsession you are entertaining and how.

    5. A Magnetized low flying loose association that needs a home with a consistent tangent.

    6. Well, pretty much anything.

See last month's column for the first part of this series of rules. See The Awe-manac blog for the Unrules of Attending Writing Workshops. •

Copyright © Jill Badonsky, 2009. All rights reserved.

Jill BadonskyJill Badonsky is a creativity coaching pioneer, inspirational humorist, artist, and founder of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching™. Her latest book is The Muse is IN: An Owner’s Manual to Your Creativity. More »

9/14/09