This Is How You Become More Creative

Start With A Brick And A Blanket

Josh Spilker
Create Make Write
Published in
4 min readFeb 6, 2020


Photo by Thea Smc on Unsplash

Before you go any further, answer these two questions:

  1. Write down everything you can think of to do with a brick
  2. Write down everything you can think of to do with a blanket

That small test was made famous in the popular book, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell and it’s also the first step in becoming more creative.


The more answers you give, the more of a divergent thinker you are.

Divergent thinkers are ideas-focused. They start with a stimulating thought (brick, blanket) and generate ideas and new solutions.

Convergent thinkers are answers-focused. They are asked questions and then seek out facts to answer the questions.

This diagram breaks it down nicely:

Infographic from Maura Crabtree

What Taylor Swift, Banksy, And Lin Manuel Miranda Have In Common

Photo by Raphael Lovaski on Unsplash

Some people are born more creative than others.

Creativity is a natural trait made up of divergent thinkers.

We each have different parts of our brains that we activate while trying to solve problems.

  1. The spontaneous thinking network creates new ideas
  2. The operating network matches the ideas to reality
  3. The information network joins the two together

Most people cannot activate and use all three networks at the same time.

Writers, musicians, artists, designers, and great business thinkers can access all three to a certain degree.

(Side note: We know you can’t survive off creativity alone, there is some talent and hard work thrown in there too).

So I bet T-Swift, Banksy, and Lin can use all of their brain all at once.



Josh Spilker
Create Make Write