Strategies to develop creativity as a writer

Walking in someone else’s shoes

This means to try and solve a problem by putting yourself in the position of those with opinions contrary to yours.

Facing a stated problem, request the student to describe it from someone else’s point of view, to imagine how the other person interprets the problem.

Chain of ideas

It is used to produce ideas. For example: you ask the student to make a list of all the things he can remember that are at the same time solid, flexible, and of a color.

Pairing ideas

It refers to the establishing of relationships between pairs of ideas.

Example 1: Make a list of words with the approximate opposed meaning to the word “death”.

Example 2: Place an element, fact, phenomena or action of nature, in front of a value; for the word “peace”, the term “pigeon”.

Placing equal bricks

It consists in expressing phrases containing the same number of letters.

ELASTIC

It allows to develop the student’s spontaneous flexibility. Example: List all uses that you can think of for a common brick.

RUBBER

This strategy contributes to developing adaptation flexibility. Here the student needs to perform some changes (changes to the interpretation of the task, changes of statements or strategies, change of possible solution, etc.).

Example: Give as many titles as possible to the parable of the “Prodigal son”.

BALLOON INFLATING

It allows to expand thinking from a small phrase.

Example: For the following paragraphs, explain the meaning of each one of them: (a) be the fountain, not the drain, (b) To discover is to look at what the whole world has seen and think about what no one has thought.

Making our movies

This strategy is one of my favorites. It consists on requesting each of the participants to remember and relate an experience, event, or daily happening; then they need to give it a striking movie title, and then they need to point out the lesson coming from it.

Strategies to develop creativity

Next, we will present a list suggesting techniques for our students to develop creativity:

  1. Ask the student to make a list of all utilitarian objects that he may come in contact with in a 24 hour period. Have him select, for future purposes, those items that can cause friction (or problems, difficulties, etc.) in terms of their function or appearance.
  2. Another strategy can be the following: Ask the student to make a list of all utilitarian items he can related to the areas of work, study, transport, recreation, relaxation, feeding, agriculture, etc. Let him cover those items or problems more promising that he came across with.
  3. State a class problem and search as many alternative solutions as possible. For example, why has a manufacturer extended paid holidays for his employees from one to two weeks?
  4. Present a common object to the class, such as the lid of a plastic container, and ask them to provide alternative functions that it may serve.
  5. Have students guess the purpose of some object from a minimum set of verbal or graphic hints. For example, if the object is a mug, draw in the board an incomplete handle, adding more parts, such as the rest of the handle, until the students guess the correct item.
  6. Let the student redefine or redesign items by examining their characteristics. For a wall calendar, for example (representing the graphic arts), the list of attributes generated by the students may include numbers, months, horizontal, vertical, advertisements, sheets, paper texture, hanging device, drawings, poems, footnotes, descriptions, characters names, color, folds, moon phases, important dates, typography, etc. He needs to pay special attention to the different attributes in terms of enhancements or innovations.
  7. Have the student make connections between ideas or items seemingly unconnected. The connections will serve as starting point to develop ideas to set aside for later, combined function units, and other relationships that suggest continuous improvement.
  8. Have the students suggest (orally or graphically) enhancements for a daily used object.
  9. Encourage the students to be recipient to other people’s ideas. Have them research times when “extravagant” ideas have been very successful.