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Creative Thinking

cartoon owl reading a book illustrating an article on creative thinkingCreative thinking doesn’t always come naturally to us as we get older. As children we can be given a cardboard box full of junk, and a corner to play in and we could turn that cardboard box into a lorry, a boat, or even a space station.

Now we are adults that same cardboard box is just somewhere to store junk before it goes to the dump. Of course, children don’t, or at least, shouldn’t, have our problems. In an ideal world they are looked after and loved, leaving them free to play creatively and naturally.

WORRIES KILL CREATIVITY

But it’s different for us. We have got worries and responsibilities dampening down our creative thinking. We’ve got worried about work, bills, kids and all the stuff that can keep our minds so occupied that our natural creativity is stifled and forgotten.

THE PACE OF LIFE

Life has also got busier as we became older. Sometimes we are so busy at work, juggling jobs with domestic work and our children and pets. With so much stuff going on and so many roles to play in our lives; worker, partner, parent, friend we can find ourselves switching to auto.

SWITCHING TO AUTO

When we do this often enough our creative thinking can be replaced with automatic thinking. Have you ever driven home from work and arrived at your home having been so lost in thought that you hadn’t even even noticed your journey?

bridge into park illustrating article about creative thinkingQUIETEN YOUR MIND

If you recognised yourself in the above paragraph you’ll know it’s time to do something to quiet your thoughts so that your mind can be freed up to be creative. 

What you need to do to quieten your mind depends on you and your preferences. I like to walk and swim and I like to practice mindful meditation. I don’t spend long periods meditating – I have tried that but lately I have found that short periods of maybe ten to twenty minutes work better for me.

SIMPLY MEDITATION

I am no expert but I have found a very simple mediation technique that works for me.

1. Begin by sitting in a comfortable chair and unfolding your arms and uncrossing your legs.

2. Count backwards from 100 to 1. It doesn’t matter if you lose count – you can either begin again, or resume counting from where you think you left off.

3. When you have reached the number 1 in your count begin to focus on your own breath. Notice how you breathe in and notice how you breathe out. Don’t try to change how you breathe – just watch it.

That’s it – you can set an alarm for 5 minutes or ten minutes or longer if you prefer. It doesn’t matter, 5 minutes meditation is better than none and you will still reap benefits.

NOW WRITE

When you are in a calmer state of mind you will find your thinking becomes more focused and ideas flow more fully. You will then find you are able to harness your creative thinking and apply yourself to the task of writing.

For more about developing creative thinking skills click here.

If you are not already working on a project or are a beginner writer I suggest you visit either of these two pages to get you started.

1. Writing for beginners

2. Practical Creative Writing Exercises

P.S.  Go ahead and leave a comment in the box below – I love hearing from fellow writers and always reply.

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