Three Books to Get your Creative Juices Flowing

  1. “How to Have Creative Ideas” by Edward de Bono

This has been a recent favourite. During these lazy summer days, my daughter and I have been working through at least one exercise per day. 

The results are often hilarious, but they also make you think. For example, one exercise we did had us try to come up with a new idea to make a bank more attractive to its customers. We chose a random word from one of the charts at the back of the book, and we had to come up with ideas based on that word. The word we chose just happened to be “crab”. Ideas ranged from serving crab to customers to painting the walls a crab colour to dressing up the tellers in crab costumes. What do you think? What idea would you suggest?

Another day we decided to write a short story. The word we chose as our setting was “croissant”. I actually thought that the story I ended up writing, with a bit of tweaking, would make a good picture book.

2. “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon

This book turns self promotion into a fun and doable activity. Ten principles include “share something small every day” and “teach what you know”.

I had several takeaways from this book. For example, Kleon dispels the “lone genius” myth, and instead talks about “scenius”, a term borrowed from Brian Eno, where great ideas are birthed from a group of people. Kleon notes: “Being a valuable part of a scenius is not necessarily how smart or talented you are, but about what you have to contribute—the ideas you share, the quality of connections you make, and the conversations you start.” Furthermore, “The Internet is basically a bunch of sceniuses connected together…” So, go ahead, find your scenius today.

3. “The Art of Noticing” by Rob Walker

I have recently become interested in looking at the world from different points of view. This all started with the book “On Looking” by Alexandra Horowitz in which the author takes a walk with 10 different experts to see how they observe the world. Horowitz touches on the phenomenon of how once you become attuned to something you suddenly start seeing it everywhere. I can attest to this personally. I recently took a “wild edibles” course, and now I see them everywhere: in my own backyard (who knew?), on the side of the road…

There are several fantastic exercises in Walker’s book, and many are easy to do, such as “Change your route”. This means simply to change your route to a common destination. My husband is good at this. He loves to drive different ways, not like me who prefers to get to the destination via the same route, not being the fondest of long car rides. However, I appreciate when my husband does this. I actually get more excited about driving when he changes the route, as I discover new things around every corner.

Another exercise we did as a family was “Take a long walk through an unfamiliar part of town”. During our walk, we explored some new to us neighbourhoods, and then checked out a couple of schools. Behind one of the schools was a path we had never been on. Suddenly we discovered a bird viewing platform with some hawks nesting on it! How could I not know that there was a platform so close?

What creativity books have you discovered that you recommend?

Shoe’s Sunday Stories

@Copyright 2019 Linda Schueler


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