Sift through your information for insights and ideas
What’s the best way to come up with great ideas? What are the thought processes that drive the world’s most creative individuals?
Once you’ve foraged the raw materials for your idea, focus, sift through and organize them to see how the pieces fit together.
That’s analysis, the second step of the 5-step creative process. The other steps are foraging (research), incubating (letting your ideas simmer in the back of your mind), achieving the aha! moment, and knuckling down to realize your idea.
Here’s how to turn your raw data into creative ideas:
1. Seek connections.
While you’re sifting through your information, look for themes and relationships.
“Innovation most of the time is simply taking A, B, C and D, which already exist, and putting them together in a form called E,” said Wolfgang Schmitt, chairman of Rubbermaid Corp.
Poet Robert Frost agreed. “An idea is a feat of association,” he wrote.
2. Develop your story angle.
What’s your one-sentence walkaway — the single idea that will hold your message together?
A topic, obviously, isn’t an idea. “Kansas City” is a topic, not a theme. “XYZ Digital Media Conference” doesn’t make a good brochure headline, because it lacks an angle. Your product name is not an idea.
Build your story on a firmer foundation. What about your conference, your program or your product?
3. Organize your information.
Save time — and hit your word count the first time, every time — by organizing your piece before you write it.
Upload your brain for Step 3.
You might call this step outlining, finding your focus or developing a theme. That’s part of this process, sure.
But the real goal is to upload the information to your brain so it can take over working on this project while you’re doing something more interesting.
That’s Step 3 in the creative process: the incubation stage. It’s one of the most important — and most overlooked — stage of the creative process.
Master the magic of the creative process
Have you ever come up with a brilliant idea — on the way home from the brainstorming meeting? Developed a creative theme for the annual report while pulling weeds? Written the perfect headline in the shower?
If so, you’ve tapped into the wonderful and productive world of the creative process.
Now you can learn to access this superpower every single day at Write Better, Easier & Faster — our writing-process workshop starting Dec. 12.
There, you’ll learn to come up with brilliant solutions to communication problems and overcome writer’s block and procrastination by working with — not against — your brain.
Save up to $100 with our group discounts.