Monday, May 29, 2017

Reads for Writers: inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity by Tina Seelig

From Kate’s Writing Crate…

          Creativity is essential for writers. In her book inGenious: A Crash Course on Creativity, Tina Seelig gives readers or, as she calls artists of all types, noticers great insights including:

“Mastering the ability to reframe problems is an important tool for increasing your imagination because it unlocks a vast array of solutions.” (page 19)

“You, too, can spark a revolution by looking at the problems you face from different perspectives.” (page 23)

“Connecting unexpected people, places, objects, and ideas provides a huge boost to your imagination. You can practice this skill by using provocative metaphors, interacting with those outside your normal circles, building on existing ideas, and finding inspiration in unlikely places.” (page 46)

“Scientists and artists of all types are the world “noticers.” They are trained to pay attention and to communicate what they see and experience to the rest of us.” (page 75)

“…the most salient thing [the students] learned from this intense experience is that by opening your eyes, paying attention, and asking a lots of questions, there are remarkable things to see around every corner.” (page 76)

“Focused observation is a powerful way to acquire valuable knowledge about the world. That knowledge is the starting point for all your creative endeavors because it provides rich fuel for your imagination.” (page 32-83)

“If you live and work in an environment that is stimulating, then your mind is open to fresh, new ideas.” (page 102)

“I eventually realized I that I putting off writing on purpose. It was creative procrastination!” (page 105)

          However, my favorite part of this book is the opening chapter discussing the “hardest exam in the world. It required both a breadth of knowledge and a healthy dose of imagination.” (page 4)

          It’s a “…‘one-word exam.’ The Essay, as it was called, was both anticipated and feared by applicants. They each flipped over a piece of paper at the same time to reveal a single word...The challenge was to craft an essay in three hours inspired by that single word.”  (page 3)

          “…This challenge reinforces the fact that everything—every single word—provides an opportunity to leverage what you know to stretch your imagination.” (page 3)

          What a great exam—especially for writers! I’m going to randomly open a dictionary with my eyes closed and point to a word. Then I am going to write an essay in three hours. Why not? I’ll be writing for hours this week in my notebook. I may as well use a writing prompt that will challenge me like this one.

          Take the one-word test. See what you know and notice.

Word count for the week of May 21-27 was 11,431.

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