Many businesses have realised that the key to success is innovation, and so it is for writers.
So, what is innovation? I see it as a way of looking at situations and seeing a more efficient way of performing the task, or looking at problems and seeing new ways to solve
How can you effect innovation in your life? Everyone is capable of creativity and innovative thinking. Everyone has a unique way of generating breakthrough ideas, which is bound to be different to how other people do it, simply because of the unique life experiences, knowledge and skills you have.
However, you can promote innovative thinking by exercising your ability to think in new ways, and use it to push through dry spells. On a regular basis stretch your imagination (read, watch a movie, day dream). For writers this might mean coming up with three new story ideas each week; of course you’re not going to write them all, but it will keep the creative juices flowing and mind searching.
Innovators engage both sides of the brain to extract new ideas, usually employing these five basic aspects (all of which you possess).
1. Seeing connections/associations where there doesn’t appear to be any at first glance.
2. Being inquisitive, seeking information and challenging the status quo.
3. Being alert and watching how things work, to understand processes and prompt ideas for improving them.
4. Not being afraid to try new things, so you are constantly gaining knowledge and life experience.
5. Keeping abreast of news and advances in your field; one of the best ways to do this is to interact with like-minded individuals.
Do you look at the world with a child-like innocence? Can you? We often get so bogged down in the way things have always been done, in all the great films we’ve seen and books we’ve read, that it can be difficult to step back and put ON the rose coloured glasses. Try to forget everything that is crowding your brain and tear the problem down to it’s basic form, so you can see it for what it really is. Look at your story idea and brainstorm a list of what could happen. Don’t stop at five, or even 10. You want to push past the obvious, into
the crazy and find a gem that only you could have come up with. Brilliant!
Motivation is key to your innovative success. If your project is meaningful to you, then you will care about the outcome and are more likely to expend creative effort. In my next blog I’ll be looking at ways to make your writing environment more conducive to creativity.
You might like to check out this interesting article:
The Innovator’s DNA, by Jeffrey H Dyer,
Hal B Gregersen and Clayton M Christensen.