Creativity and how to Steal it.
Each and every writer, no matter if they are some kind of published international best seller or just a college kid struggling through a midterm, struggles to create unique and interesting ideas, and to then express them in a clear and clever manner. To squeeze out just one half-arsed idea takes so much effort and focus than I sometimes get quite angry when one just floats in on the fly. Creating ideas, like all hard labour, is best outsourced. So in this article I will share with you the devilish secret behind this theft of inspiration.
Is it really theft?
Some wise old bloke who loved banging chicks and in his off time wrote a few books on wisdom once rather brilliantly said “There is nothing new under the sun.” This does not mean that there will never be anything original again (Solomon did not have an iPhone after all) but rather that all new ideas are just a different twist on a ready existing thing. With this moral authority in mind, do not be afraid to take what you see, add something strange and make it your own. Warning: This might not go down with Apple too well.
If you throw your mind back to the old golden age of colonialism, nations had huge success and saw a massive economic boon by simply changing direction: instead of sending all their soldier to die in some European war, they just exported the warfare to other people’s homelands. A routine is the graveyard of creativity; do not be afraid to change direction. Not coming up with anything at your desk, go write outside. Struggling to polish off some paper or article, print it out, and edit it manually. Change. Do not repeat yesterday, for then you will only have yesterday’s thoughts.
Become a scholar.
Read. Read like it was your job. Read like you are racing. Fast, relentless, devour other people’s ideas, their thoughts. Reading a book is like having someone just come and talk to you; to share with you their inmost secrets, their vision, their genius. Who would not happy to just sit listen to the greats of old (and new), so why will you not read their books. You can hear them whenever you want, wherever you want, at whatever pace you need. Truly reading is a form of necromancy, where we summon the dead to give us council and tell the tales of wonderful and terrible things.
No two people see the same thing alike, but each is guided to see it through his values and appreciate it according to his desires. So you must speak, throw your ideas at other people; hurl that idea for a novel you have been keeping quiet at a friend or co-worker, hear how it bounces back. (I for one always bring up these ideas as “A book I have just finished reading.” It spares the weird looks). You have to speak, to ask, to be nosey. Whenever I am stuck on any college paper, I start disusing it with one of my friends, “Yes, I was reading this very interesting article on ‘insert paper topic.’” Yes, there is a time to be silent, to observe, but you must always be interacting.Find out things, seek out secrets, express ideas, start conversations, everyone you have ever met has experienced life in ways beyond you, felt emotions you did not even know existed and dreamed foolish human dreams in the nights that you slept on peacefully.
Writers are a most desperate of people, for we seek to be unique and powerful, just like everyone else. You need all the help you can get, loan away your issues. If you can make your problem someone else problems, it is no longer your problem. Tax other people’s minds, change up your routine, and absorb other’s ideas. A problem share is a problem halved, just so an idea shared is an idea changed.