Taking the first post this week to share a little creativity.show update. A little over a week ago, I was making regular posts three times per week. I was concentrating every day on what content I could share on this site.
I alluded to many other products and offerings that I'd be adding. I realized that I could not keep posting three times per week and ever make these other parts of the show happen, so I directed my energy in a couple different places for a week. Here is what I've been up to, with a plan of what you may expect in the near future.
Keeping the Creative Pump Primed
I alluded to discovering an author, Keith Sawyer in the Child-like Curiosity post. In the past week I've almost completed reading two of his books, Group Genius and ZigZag. His writings have greatly influenced this creativity.show update.
I've experienced the exciting moment many times, discovering a person who is an inspiration. These people are doing work at that moment that I had only dreamed of. It is powerful to find a guide, who can provide you with new a view from further down the path. This was very close to one of those times, the strange part was that these were barely new ideas for me. I saw many of the same ideas that I write about here. This man, who is 15-20 years ahead of me has been writing, unbeknownst to me, many of the same strategies I used. I'm not bragging, and I'm not claiming ownership of certain concepts. I'm trying describe the sense of wonder when you find a person who has, with a recognized degree of scientific authority, been exploring many of the same areas you've been passionate about for your entire career.
The book ZigZag is closer to my area of focus. It is filled with practical exercises you can use to generate ideas and shift those which aren't working in a more productive direction. Almost every word so far has paralleled some technique or inner process I've used for years. It is exciting to add it as a resource which confirms my practices.
The other book, Group Genius, is more of a challenge for me to stretch. It elevates the argument that collaboration is one of the best, or even the only way to be truly creative. This parallels some council I've had before I started this blog. I was told to make sure I reach out to others for participation. I've spoken to many who hopefully will participate in podcasts in the near future. The tools Sawyer uses in his book push the abstract, intangible process that well-tuned groups do when they engage in the unpredictable realms of jazz music and improv comedy. Ironically, these two topics that have always been of great interest to me. It is time to start regular creativity.show podcasts. If I've talked to you about recording one with me, I'm coming! If I haven't and you want to talk creativity with me, please let me know!
Projects Coming to the creativity.show
I've been mentioning products and other elements for this site. I've been working hard to create one short work of non-fiction and then to begin a much larger fiction project. I'm inspired by author Joanna Penn who shared the process of creating her first novel on her personal blog. So as part of this creativity.show update, I'm planning to do likewise and share my writing progress.
My first project, the non-fiction book, is one I've been writing at pretty rapid pace. I privately written guides to amusement parks, like Walt Disney World, for friends and family. I shared insider tips and strategies for how to get the best experience possible. The feedback was always very enthusiastic, so it planted the seed that I would one day write such a guide for the public. Creating a WDW guide is a n ambitious project and something that has been done many times before, starting with the Steve Birnbaum guides in the 1980s. Many of you may know that I live very close to King's Island near Cincinnati, Ohio. It was on July 5th that I came up with the idea for a short collection of tips to help families do the amusement park experience better. I was standing in a hot, noisy line and realized that many people could have a far better experience than they get when they just follow the herd. It will feature some elements specific to King's Island, but I think anyone can benefit from most of these strategies in any park around the country.
Because this is a rapidly-written and produced work, my creativity.show update for this is just that it is coming, very soon. It isn't the kind of work that needs a lot of initial concept testing. Collaboration will happen following its release in the form of incorporating feedback into an update the following year. My guide will be released as soon as I get it complete. I'll post it for pre-sale later this week, so keep watching!
I know one of my greatest challenges has been maintaining focus on a single topic. That plagues many people, especially those in creative fields. The important part of that is not to eliminate other good things, but to ship the things out, get them done and delivered before moving on. So part of my creativity.show update is to collect my different efforts and explain them into one rational, multi-threaded effort.
So if you're one of those wonderful people who have been reading this blog, please know that I'm very committed to it. I'm trying to find the right rhythm for posting that still enables me to bring fresh things in. It isn't good for you or me if I only provide conceptual posts on what creativity is and how you may build those "muscles" to become stronger. I like writing those, that is central to my being a creativity coach and idea generation consultant. But the other part that I need to maintain is the dialogue with you, first sharing some of my own projects and also inviting other creative minds in for the show.
Photo: bee on flower, CC0 License. This represents a great story of Walt Disney's. When asked by a little boy what he did in the studio, Walt didn't have a specific role. He said he was like a little bee that traveled from flower to flower. I've always identified with that. But it is another emphasis on the importance of collaboration. Walt certainly would not have become famous, but for the hard-working, brilliant minds who worked with him.