Creative Limitations. They sound like they will kill your creativity. Actually, they can be a wonderful creative tool.
This is because your creativity has something to ‘chew on.’ They get you thinking, and take you far away from the place where you have infinite possibilities, and it’s too hard to settle on one idea. Go bounce against your limits, and good luck!
Here are 12 ways to set creative limitations for yourself, and one mantra which is the guiding principle.
1. Go outside and find one object
There are 2 benefits here. Going outside is beneficial for the creative process and for a feeling of wellbeing. Secondly, you’ll find something that you can start to focus on for creativity.
2. Open a book
Grab one word at random, go to another page and grab another word. Put the together and try to make some sense. Avoid words like ‘a’ and ‘the,’ although ‘The’ can make something mundane monumental, so stick with it if you want to.
3. Make a ‘lucky dip’ box
Fill it with random objects. Pull out one or two and start looking for combinations and permutations.
4. Turn on tv, or youtube at random
You have to promise yourself that you’ll only do this for a few seconds. It’s not meant to be a distraction. Whatever is on the screen, run with it.
5. find a meditation on youtube
They might tell you to empty your mind and release thoughts that come to you. Do this for a while, but then you might get a thought that you don’t need to banish. This is a thought you can take and use as your topic for the day.
6. write a few lines without using the letter ‘e’
Or you could leave out the word ‘the’ or ‘a.’ Anything that gets you focusing on something other than the whole world of possibilities.
7. limit your tools or materials if you are creating something physical
Or research a more primitive technique, and experiment with it.
8. Resurrect one of your rejects and today you make it work, somehow
9. Pick up a pen(cil) and free write for 10 minutes
Start with ‘I don’t know what to write’ over and over if necessary. Just keep writing, with no thought of judgment. Set a timer for 10 minutes, or whatever time you feel best with. The words you are writing when the timer goes off are the words you take away and make your creative limitation for the day.
10. Wikipedia has a random article feature
Feeling lucky? Who knows what you’ll get. Don’t reject anything as being too hard until you have pondered on it for a while, thought of all the angles and possibilities, places where it might lead, characters who might have this on a T shirt, anything.
11. On t shirts. write down the first t shirt slogan you see when you go out
Even if it makes no sense, work with it for a while. Who knows what might come.
Write anything, any words, anything you can see or think of. Play ‘I Spy’ and write all the words that start with a certain letter, even if you can’t spy them.
Your One Mantra
Find a creative limitation via something random. Stick with it and see what happens.
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