Get creative

A three-step process for the “creatively challenged”

Devin Anderson
Guest Writer

It might sound selfish to say that our generation is the most unique in American history, but isn’t it true? The 60s nuclear family with a white picket fence has given way to the 30-year-old “dude” still wearing Vans and playing Xbox, and he’s definitely not alone. The Internet has given us a world marketplace that is becoming extremely diverse; everything comes in every color of the rainbow.

We have more choices than ever when it comes to what we buy and who to share it with. I say we should capitalize on these new ideals because we won’t soon escape them. As consumers, we have adapted just fine, but to become a generation of innovators above all this new noise, we have to be creative. For those who are “creatively challenged,” here are 3 easy steps.

Step 1 is arguably the most important: Write about anything. An opinion, a story, the weather, a song, a dream, your creepy neighbor, pancakes and all the rest. Pick a random object and write about it or even doodle, if nothing more. Externalizing your thoughts is key to developing an idea.

This next step may be frightening, but bear with me. Talk. Bring yourself out of your comfort zone and have random conversations just because. Technology shelters us from a lot of basic human interaction and we’re missing out on the opportunity to share ideas. Gaining new perspectives can grow creative potential and cure any artistic block.

I can only hope step 3 seems intuitive. Find an extracurricular activity that demands creative improvisation. My absolute favorite thing to do, above anything, is to play the drums. So grab an activity and run with it, whether it be an instrument, painting, acting, poetry, dancing, or the granddaddy of all improvisational exercises: Improvisational comedy. Find an “improv” club and just go. It is an easy way to meet new people and vastly improve public speaking skills.

We have endless outlets with which to express ourselves; a young entrepreneur can create an empire on his or her couch. Reliance on large companies and investors for “a way in” is diminishing; just ask Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, who last year turned down a $3 billion buyout offer from yesterday’s dorm room startup, Facebook. There is no reason any of us can’t be the next big something. Innovation depends on this mindset, so make some time every day to implement creativity into your life, even if it is just doodling.

Devin Anderson is a general business major from Sault St. Marie.