The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A trick for increasing creativity

It's simple, and I've known so many people who did it accidentally, or out of habit, that I never asked myself if there might be a positive reason for what seemed a scattered and haphazard behavior.  It is this: read more than one book at the same time.  Deliberately. And one of them should be non-fiction.  This works just as well if, like me, you get a huge portion of your input from audio sources.  for instance, I listen to one CD in the morning during my "Golden Hour", but recently started listening to another in my car when I'm taking Jason to his babysitter every morning.  I realized that the idea from one were "bumping up against" the ideas in the other in a very pleasant way, and some of those ideas were getting warm and friendly and making babies.  Tons of my very smartest friends do the same thing, but I'd never heard them explain it in just this way--it was just a habit pattern, and sometimes they were even sheepish about it.  Give it a try!

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