How to Be Creative in a World of Conformity -
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How to Be Creative in a World of Conformity

How to Be Creative in a World of Conformity

One of the most disappointing things I’ve seen as a workshop leader and former teacher is the lack of creativity in attendees or students. Too often, when asked to write a short story or develop a story plan for a novel, beginning writers turn in a modified version of a published story that is already popular—such as a watered down version of the Harry Potter or Twilight. Sadly, children usually turn in a “paraphrased” version of a television program. a movie or even a video game.

But creativity is not a luxury–it’s a necessity. According to Marlene D. LeFever, author of Creative Teaching Methods, a well-nourished imagination promotes good judgment, originality and flexibility of thought. “While it’s true that in each century only a few incredibly gifted people…will be Albert Einsteins, Ben Franklins or C.S. Lewises…each of us can be more creative than we are now,” LeFever contends.

The following are a few practical exercises that will tone your creative muscles:

  • Daydream. Bright ideas and new inventions are often spawned during the lazy, unconscious daydreaming process. Unfortunately, most of us take too little time for daydreaming these days. We are constantly busy with school, work, sports  and other group functions.
  • Explore. Travel to some place you’ve never been before. Visit a museum or an art gallery. Chase butterflies. Volunteer at the nearest soup kitchen. Visit an art gallery. Finger paint with chocolate pudding. Sample curry and mango custard at an East Indian restaurant. Attend a fencing competition. The creative imagination grows with frequent exercise–and the world around us is a wonderful gym!
  • Read broadly. Don’t limit yourself to your favorite kind of book. Read biographies for inspiration, poetry for beauty and rhythm, fables and folktales for pearls of wisdom and a wide variety of fiction for a breath of adventure.

Novelist Somerset Maugham once wrote that “Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.”

How do you exercise your creativity? Please drop us a line and let us know.