Is your team hitting an idea wall? Maybe these blocks can unblock your brainstorming?
Elmore Leonard, the recently deceased author of 45 novels, including Get Shorty, Hombre, Swag,Raylan, and Glitz (he died at work on his 46th), was reluctant to write about his own writing. But back in 2001 the New York Times convinced him to make a list of his 10 writing rules:
1. Never use the words ”suddenly” or ”all hell broke loose.”
Leonard writes that this rule doesn’t even require an explanation.
2. Use regional dialect, patois sparingly.
“Once you start,” writes Leonard, “you won’t be able to stop.”
3. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
Leonard cites a Hemingway short story in which the only physical description of a couple introduced as the ”American and the girl with him” is: ”She had taken off her hat and put it on the table.” Enough said.
“If we want to survive in this beautifully strange world of ours, we need to make something it wants. But, if we are privileged enough to do so, we can do something it needs.”
Here’s your complete creative guide to Breaking Bad
“I literally don’t understand the concept of boring. I know that it’s out there. I know some people complain of boredom. But I have no idea what’s on their mind when they experience it. Are they are desensitized? Are they are too bombarded? Are they incapable of connecting to life? Because—wow!—life is actually pretty good.”
Gogol Bordello’s lead singer Eugene Hutz on why only boring people get bored.
A tiny printer that lets your program, print off, and play your own works of interactive fiction… cool!
Here are a few reads that will help you be more creative today:
- 7 ways to boost your creativity
- Meditate your way to a more creative mind
- How to design a more serendipitous, creative life
[Image: Flickr user Thomas Leth-Olsen]
“…we’re born into thinking we constantly have to rearrange things. Trying to constantly create order is a source of suffering…A lot of the chaos of the band on the stage is my crusade to bust out of too much order. Perfectionism is a disease.”
Anemia, a condition of low red blood cells, is primarily caused by deficiency of iron. A whopping 44% of Cambodians suffer from anemia, including two-thirds of the country’s entire population of children. At the same time, about 70% of Cambodians live on less than $1 a day, pushing iron supplements (or red meat) far out of reach.
Chris Charles, then a University of Guelph PhD student, traveled to Cambodia to tackle the problem, he had a crucial resource at hand: a study showing that simply adding iron to food while cooking could increase iron levels in the blood.
That’s where this lucky iron fish comes in.
“You have got to read stuff outside your comfort zone, as well as doing things you love. You can pick up a business article, get a creative angle on it and find the solution in creativity.”
The Daily Show’s temporary leader John Oliver on operating outside of your comfort zone:
“I’m not really much of an actor, so when I started on The Daily Show, I was just trying to adopt the faux authority of a newsperson. Having a British accent definitely gave me a sonic leg up on that because there is a faux authority to the British accent in and of itself. So I think it was just about saying everything with 10% more emphasis and 15% more of an arched eyebrow.”
“In a Darwinian process for weeding out the bad ideas, you will do best by encouraging all of them. The best will win and the others will fail. Thomas Edison said, ‘To have a great idea, have a lot of them.’”
“You need people around you that you can trust to say “that’s a shit idea”. Every McCartney needs a Lennon.”