Among the writing community, there’s a saying, “You can’t edit a blank page.” The idea is that no matter how hard you try, if there’s nothing to edit, you can’t do anything, so the most important thing is to write the words and worry about their format, punctuation and spelling later. Get the words on a page, and you can hire someone to fix them or fix them yourself. In the same way, you can’t improve on a non-existent idea or bring it to life. In other words, you have to have an idea before you can move on to the next step – implementation.
Jumpstart Your Creativity with Brainstorming
You don’t have to be with a group to brainstorm. In fact, some studies suggest that brainstorming is more effective when done alone. To get the most out of your single brainstorming session, set aside between 45 minutes and an hour. Anything shorter won’t yield the results you need for creativity. Turn off all your electronic devices and go to a room where you won’t be distracted by beeping, phone ringing, or other sounds that will break your concentration and flow.
Sit down with several sheets of blank paper and several pens or pencils; you might even use different colors. Think about your problem or what you want to accomplish, and write down all of the ideas you come up with. Now is not the time to edit or elaborate; you can do those later. There are different formats you can use; choose a style that works best for you. The first 20 minutes, you’ll most likely have mundane ideas that have been tried before. At about 60 minutes, you’ll be inspirationally spent. When you’re ready, you can go through the ideas and discard the ones that aren’t feasible or won’t work.
Brainstorming for Groups
Group brainstorming sessions should be about the same length of time. The goal and the rules should be explicitly stated: all ideas are welcomed, build on others ideas, no criticizing, and go for quantity. There needs to be a skilled moderator who can keep the group of 8 to 10 people on track, record all the ideas, and enforce the rules. When the session is over, someone who has the power to follow through should choose between ideas, implement them, and keep participants informed about the results. The reason most group brainstorming sessions fail is they don’t have an assigned person who can implement ideas and values the process.
More Creativity Tips
If you’d like more creativity tips, join our Patreon and sign up for our blog notices by email. You can also get more tips from “Disneyland Is Creativity” and the “Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.” “Penguinate! Positive Creativity” and “Penguinate! The Disney Company” have activities to help jumpstart your creativity.