The time TED lied… and forgot a step

Ok maybe lie is a bit harsh. ideas.TED.com had a clever article I stumbled on today. 6 Ideas From Creative Thinkers to Shake up Your Work Routine. Yes, it is a mouthful for a title but in true TED style they had it formatted seamlessly.

These tips were;

  1. Keep a schedule
  2. Take a walk
  3. Seek inspiration
  4. Stop while you’re ahead
  5. Take a mini sabbatical
  6. … they really only listed 5… So, there is that. Maybe they took a mini sabbatical to find some inspiration for #6. That clearly worked.

Isn’t that just beautiful and simple? I mean, how did I never think of this? OH! Because I am not Ernest Hemingway or Henry David Thoreau. I can’t sit out by my lake at my cabin in the woods drinking whiskey.

Here is the real, down and dirty, painfully true way that I find my inspiration.

  1. Wake up in the morning– after waking up in the biological sense this requires waking up in the much more real mental sense that requires highly processed foods and a coffee IV.
  2. Sit at the computer with a purpose– sit down ready to roll with every intent of being awesome and writing the great American novel… after checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest for three hours, and have three Clash of Clans battles.
  3. Start letting the words flow unashamed– start writing words. Whatever words happen to come out. My writing usually starts with “so how about this writing thing. Bound for success. Clearly writing is going to be the most productive thing ever. EVER.”
  4. Die a little inside– this requires laying on the futon in a puddle of  Cheese-it crumbs and MadMen for at least 6 episodes. 8 is advised.
  5. Have the right foods for creativity– I personally live on caesar salads, pasta, and vanilla soy lattes. Mostly vanilla soy lattes. And by pasta I mean Ramen Noodles.
  6. Read– read whatever you want. Not what you have to. If something is calling you to get out of your own head then listen. It is like when you crave bananas because you are low on potassium. You crave books and articles because you are low on words.

Writing is hard and scary. It is putting your art out into the world for others to see what you really feel. Writing is grabbing a piece of your soul and dragging it out into the sunlight for everyone to see.  It isn’t easy. It never will be. But that is what makes it the greatest thing in the world.