Recently, I decided to focus more on my creativity, and then Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s book “Creative Quest“ fell into my lap. Aside from being a musical (The Roots) superstar, Questlove has written several other books in addition to “Creative Quest.“ Even still, he humbly considers himself to be a better student than a teacher. In this book, he offers many different ideas and techniques for honing creativity.
Many of us have creative impulses; we just have trouble connecting to them. We have to start by making our own minds friendly to different ideas. Allowing unexpected influences to shift our ways of thinking and not being so set in our own ways will help spark ideas. This doesn’t mean that you can’t return to your own convictions if they are real.
I love Questlove’s definition of creativity, which is the personality that makes it possible that something new and somehow valuable can be formed.
It is important to remember that big ideas tend to grow from little things. As a writer, I am more sensitive to words. Painters may be sensitive to color. What is something that you don’t think of as creative but can actually be a perfect example of creativity?
One helpful technique is copying or covering. Yes, you read that right. Questlove says that copying is always a valuable creative exercise to get you going. For example, when an artist covers a song by a different artist to boost creativity when facing a block. You can take someone else’s work and rework it, adding your ideas to the piece of music or art. Questlove also suggests revisiting some of our own previous projects to spark creativity. This could be something you wrote a long time ago, but it just wasn’t time to fully develop it.
Another great suggestion is to switch the medium that you usually work with. For instance, if you are accustomed to writing with a computer, try switching it up and writing with a pen and paper. Changing materials can change your thinking process and change the creative production.
There are so many techniques and helpful ideas in “Creative Quest,” too many to list here. But Questlove points out that it is an individual effort to make the creative techniques work. No one can do the work for you. It is essential to pay attention to your intuition if you want to grow creatively.
I hope this blog helped to spark some ideas out there. Thanks so much for stopping by!