At the Young Alberta Book Society AGM, I spoke about Jonah Lehrer's new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works. Then we took a brainstorm walk around artist/author Georgia Graham's farm.
To get creative, Lehrer says, we think we need to sit at the computer or drawing board for hours until inspiration strikes. But really, according to Lehrer, the best ideas pop up when we're not buckled down. So when we're taking a walk or a shower or playing the piano, that's when our brains draw new connections.
To that end, some companies have installed napping couches in their offices. Pixar housed the engineers, techies and artists in one building and made them share a bathroom because bumping into people for unexpected conversation can trigger creativity.
That's not to say that after you have the good idea, you don't need to spend zillions of hours at the drawing board to finish your book!
How do you fire up your creativity? Let's have a conversation in the comments.
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Or give me a call the next time you're in Calgary - we'll take a brainstorm walk!
At a writer event a couple of months ago, I gave an impromptu talk on creativity, citing Jonah Lehrer's book. In Imagine: How Creativity Works. Lehrer, then a staff writer for The New Yorker, wrote about how getting out of well-worn tracks can spur new ideas. I'd heard Lehrer interviewed as he was making the rounds on the book promo circuit.
Turns out Lehrer was a little too creative when writing Imagine. He fabricated some quotes that he'd attributed to Bob Dylan. Caught in the lie, Lehrer resigned from The New Yorker and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt recalled the book.
Here's what happened when writer Maureen Bush and I took a brainstorm walk.
(Lawyer's note: any resemblance of this comic strip to real people or events is purely coincidental.)