Why to NEVER Put your Creativity on a Diet

written by Mikaela Cowles on March 14, 2017 in Blogging and Creativity with no comments

bacon in a frying pan

You can never eat bacon again!

Hold the phone. That’s not what this post is about.

But we got your attention, didn’t we? Life without bacon would be sad. So too would life without creativity. 

Sunny day on the dock

Sometimes being creative requires you to get out and explore. To immerse yourself in a project. To soak in the beauty of the moment.

Unlike bacon, which will always be in ready supply, if you put your creative muscles on a diet they can wither. And it’s easy to do. The doldrums of client meetings, task tackling, and email responding can overwhelm the day.

Make no mistake about it – being creative takes time. It requires mental energy. Coming up with a new idea can be physically exhausting. But not in the way you’re used to.

It’s not like running 10 miles or digging a trench. Working on your creativity is a brain flexing exercise. A colleague of mine once said it best:

The hardest work I’ve ever done is to uncover a new idea.

That’s what “being creative” is all about. You take an idea and turn it over as many times as it takes to uncover a perspective that makes you stop and take notice.

One of the best ways to feed your creativity is with word association. It forces your thinking to become reactionary. This helps you get out of your own way. The everyday doubt and questioning can cause havoc to the creative process.

Writing Jogs your CreativityThe following word association game is a simple way to trigger new thought, gain new perspectives, and uncover new ideas. The rules are simple:

  1. Start from the top of the list and work your way down without reading ahead.
  2. Respond on paper to each word or phrase with the first thing that comes to mind. Your response can be as long or short as you like.


The List

  • Apple

  • Seahawks

  • You can never eat bacon again!

  • Jumping the gun

  • Applying for a loan

  • Puppy

  • Collaborating with colleagues

  • Commuting

  • Saying Thank You

  • Taking Pictures

  • Apple


Food for Thought

Did your response to “apple” change? Often, going through a series of word associations can help you look at the same situation or problem in a new light.

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