Get Unreal: A Writing Exercise Are you a fiction writer? Do you struggle making your written word as real as possible? Does your story need to be realistic? Can this way of thinking squash your imagination? Part of the fun of writing a story is convincing your audience that the plot could happen within the framework of your book. Develop your Picasso within you!
Writer's Digest Names Creativity Portal a '101 BestWeb Site' Creativity Portal is honored to be included among Writer's Digest's annual guide of 101 Best Websites for Writers in its must-have May/June 2011 issue. We have enjoyed this privilege in previous years, appearing on the list formerly in 2006.
What To Do With Change and Losses Our lives change and we experience loss. How do we deal with it? SARK explains...
Now let's look at how each of the traits can help you be more creative and become a true and effective
CRAYON BREAKER. Look specifically at which ones you marked and then at the ones you didn't mark. Often we
don't mark certain ones or choose to exercise certain ones because of the potential negative results they can
produce for us with other people.
Being sensitive helps creativeness in many ways:
it helps with awareness of problems, known & unknown.
it helps people sense things easier.
it helps to cause people to care and commit themselves to challenges or causes.
not motivated by money
As important as money is in most societies or economies it is not a driving force for a creative person.
Generally they have an intuitive sense of the amount of money they basically need and once that need is
fulfilled then money stops affecting or driving them.
sense of destiny
Intuitively creative people know that they have a purpose, a destiny or they realize that they can choose or
create one to drive them to reach greater heights of skill, ability, or talent.
Without the ability to adapt people could not become creative. But rather than adapt to something they choose
to adapt things to suit them, their needs or the goals they are striving towards.
tolerant of ambiguity
Two or more things or ideas being right at the same time challenges the thinking of a creative person. They
love to be ambiguous to challenge other people and ideas. Ambiguity helps them see things from many different
perspectives all at the same time.
Creative people constantly are using their senses: consciously, sub-consciously and unconsciously, even
perceive world differently
Thoreau talked about people drumming to a different drum beat. Creative people thrive on multiple ways of
perceiving: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, sensing things. These different perspectives open
up their minds to unlimited possibilities.
Average people, people who don't believe they are creative, people who are fearful or resistant to
creativeness or creative thinking prefer to work within limits with limited possibilities. Creative people
love to see many, even infinite possibilities in most situations or challenges.
Creative people, especially highly creatives, probably came out of their mothers wombs asking questions.
It's in their nature to question. Question yes, not actually criticize. Their questioning nature often
mistakenly appears as criticism when it is simply questioning, exploring, examining, playing with things as
they are or might be.
can synthesize correctly often intuitively
This is the ability to see the whole picture, see patterns, grasp solutions with only a few pieces, even
with major pieces missing. Creative people trust their intuition, even if it isn't right 100% of the time.
able to fantasize
Stop looking out the window Billy. Susie pay attention. Teachers, parents, and even friends often tell
creative people this. Highly creative people love to wander through their own imaginary worlds. This is one
of the major themes of the very popular cartoon strip Calvin and Hobbes. Both Calvin and Hobbes (Calvin's
alter ego?) are perpetual CRAYON BREAKERS.
Creative People are very flexible when they are playing with ideas. They love to look at things from multiple
points of view and to produce piles of answers, maybes, almosts, when other people are content with the
answer or solution.
It could be a door stop, a boat anchor, a weapon, a prop, a weight for holding down papers, etc., etc., etc.
This is what a creative person would say about the possible uses of a brick.
Creative people love to use their imagination to play, to make seem real, to experiment.
The more creative a person is the more they tap their intuition skills; the abilities to see answers with
minimum facts, to sense problems even when they aren't happening.
Being original is a driving force for creative people. They thrive on it.
Doing the unusual. Solving unsolvable problems. Thinking what has never been thought of before. These are
all traits of a creative person that make them be ingenious at times.
Challenges, problems, new ideas once committed to by a creative person truly excite them and provide them
with seeming unlimited amounts of energy; such as Sherlock Holmes once he grasps a sense of the mystery.
sense of humor
Laughter and creativity truly go together. Many experts believe that creativity can't occur without a touch
of humor believing that seriousness tends to squelch creativeness or creative thinking.
The psychologist Abraham Maslow created this term in the 1960's representing the ultimate motivator of people
the need or desire to be all you can be, to be what you were meant to be.
This is one trait that appears to be ambiguous in highly creative people. They can appear disorganized,
chaotic at times while at the same time they are highly self-disciplined. At the same time they greatly
resist the discipline of other people who are not of like creative mind.
During my life I have read biographies and biographic sketches or over 4,000 people, mostly considered to be
the highest of the highly creatives in their respective fields. One of the few things they had in common is
that they all kept some form of journal and were constantly striving to better understand themselves.
This is still another ambiguous trait of creative people. They appear on the surface to be interested in
everything, while at the same time they have very specific interests that they commit their true energies
and efforts to. By being willing to be exposed to seemingly unlimited interests they discover more about
their particular specific interests.
Creative people love to diverge from the norm, to look at things from multiple positions, to challenge
anything that exists. Because of this they are seen at times to be off-key, deviant, atypical, irregular, or
Like the Cheshire Cat of Alice in Wonderland, creative people are continuously curious, often
In order to explore many possibilities creative people tend to stay open-ended about answers or solutions
until many have been produced.
Creative people crave and require a high degree of independence, resist dependence but often can thrive on
Yes creative people challenge most everything, every idea, every rule. They challenge, challenge, and
challenge some more to the point that most other people see their challenging as severe criticism.
Conforming is the antithesis, the opposite of creativeness and in order to be creative, creative people must
be non-conforming and go against the norm, swim upstream.
This is another ambiguous trait in creative people. When they are at their most creative they are extremely
confident. When they are in a stage of frustration when nothing seems to be working they often lack
confidence. After much positive experience they begin to trust themselves and know that they will become
depressed, frustrated nearly devastated but their internal sub-conscious confidence keeps them moving or at
least floating until they experience or discover an aha! (a breakthrough idea or piece of information).
This trait is a general mis-understanding of many non-creative people or people who fear the creativeness of
creative people. Highly creative people are not really risk takers because they do not see what they are
doing as a risk. They simply see it as a possible solution or path towards a solution. They have other
possible solutions, often many others in their head or their notes to use if a particular idea or solution
does work. As Thomas Edison once said when asked how it felt to have failed nearly 7,000 times trying to
discover the best filament for an incandescent light bulb, those are not failures, they are solutions to
problems I haven't started working on yet.
Charles Goodyear (discover & inventor of vulcanized rubber) and Chester Carlson (inventor of
electrostatic copying, the Xerox process: xerography) are two of the best examples of this trait in creative
people. Both of them worked over 30 years trying to make a solution they discovered work. Creative people do
not give up on things that mean a lot to them.
The more of the 32 traits you choose the more creative you are or you have the potential to be or become.
And the more potentially you are a CRAYON BREAKER.
How many of the traits did you first mark as fitting you? The more you mark or use the greater you will
be able to capitalize on your natural creativeness. Some of them you may use at work, some at home, some at
school. Ask yourself why? Are there some barriers that prevent you from using some of the traits anywhere
I have found that sometimes it is helpful to deliberately practice particular traits to release my
creativeness when I am feeling stale, dull, or blocked. We all experience creative block at times. The
causes may be situational, physical, emotional, mental, relational or even undefinable.
Recognize which of the 32 are natural to you. Accept the ones that may be causing you difficulty at work.
Then focus on strengthening the ones you enjoy the most and especially the ones supported in your workplace.
Best wishes in the continual growth and use of your natural creative potential. •