ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Using Stories to Help Your Creativity, Generate Ideas and Solve Problems!

Posted by Plish on March 13, 2009

short-story

“Individual creativity is very intimate and personal. So, it’s important to learn how to listen to your own instincts, to listen to your inner voice-or find your inner voice-so that your self-expression becomes authentic and grounded and not simply a function of what you think people want to hear,what’s fashionable or what you think you should do as a life-long task…. Creativity is very much about being intimate with yourself, but also a number of things that, frankly, are difficult, if not sometimes impossible, to articulate.”
John Kao -Innovator, Artist, Author of “Innovation Nation”

“When people ask me where I get my ideas, I laugh. How strange – we’re so busy looking out, to find ways and means, we forget to look in…All that is most original lies waiting for us to summon it forth. And yet we know it is not as easy as that….Embarrassment, self-consciousness, remembered criticisms, can stifle the average person so that less and less in his lifetime can he open himself out.”
Ray Bradbury-Author

Based upon the two perspectives noted above, it seems amazing that anyone is creative in a productive manner.

Yet, as Ray Bradbury says, it’s all there, waiting…

…no,

calling out -

to be shared with the world!

How do we tap into the depths of creativity within?

The Links of Creativity Websites on this page and the Resource page are good places to start.

But, there is an intimate, and effective way to tap into the authentic voice.

Stories.

Think of great authors like Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke. They envisioned solutions long before they existed. The looked inside themselves, embraced the wonder, and saw it as more powerful and empowering than the fear of embarrassment and ridicule.

There is a lesson for all of us:

Write stories-don’t just journal-write stories.

Approach your problems from the context of a story.

Tell your story-it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad-it’s only for your eyes.

  • Describe the situation. It doesn’t have to be exactly your problem-use metaphors.
  • Describe the good guys and bad guys.

Let the story unfold-don’t judge it while writing; don’t try and solve the problem- let it unfold naturally.

  • Describe how the good guys ultimately win and what they did in great detail. Remember it’s a story-there IS a solution!
  • Describe the scenario, the smells, the tastes, everything you see in your mind’s eye.
  • When you’ve finished and the hero (you) has solved the problem, look at it again and see what your character(s) did to solve the problem.
  • Now look at your situation in the here and now, see the parallels, and figure out what you need to do, what things need to be in place for the solution to materialize. Now you’ve got some jumping off points for future action!

Once you get good and more confident at writing stories and solving problems, you’ll have also cultivated a skill that is more important and influential than Powerpoint!  You will be equipped to inspire action and confidence in others, so that you can empower them to be the heroes they (and all of us!) are.

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