A couple of friends at work have recently gone back to school. Since they asked me for some ideas on how to get reacquainted with their own creativity, I will share some ideas.
They also want to find creative ways into their writing especially when the subject requires critical thinking or happens to be an unappealing topic.
1. Freewrite / Stream-of-Consciousness writing (made popular by Natalie Goldberg).
You just start writing continuously for a timed period of 5-15 minutes. The idea is to get past the critic by keeping your hand moving. No stopping to make corrections, no worries about spelling or grammar, just let your pen follow your thoughts. The beauty of this technique is that you can write "I cannot think of anything to write" until you find a new thought. It may generate some ideas and help you find a way in the subject.
I'll do a short example:
Let's say I have to write a response to a short article about a poll taken a year ago entitled "Ten Years From Now". The executives and middle managers are mostly happy and optimistic (this must be before the economy took a nosedive). Young execs and managers are less likely to put work first or get along with their bosses.
Perhaps the older managers either love what they do or have resigned to being a slave to their home and/or lifestyle. The youngsters are more keen on having a life and maybe some attitude. There's most likely a generation gap. Being at my age, I guess I am in the middle-aged group but with some younger mentality. For example, I am responsible and have become well adjusted to the nine-to-five gig and that's okay. I'm good at my job but it is certainly not my life, but it is the 'bread and butter'. I also have a bit of a rebellious side and can probably relate to both to some degree.
Okay, a short (and weak) attempt but you get the idea.
2. Mind Map to generate ideas. You draw a circle on the middle of a page and write the subject. Then branch out with lines and add circles around it to ideas and subjects related to that. Take it as far as you can.
3. Brainstorm and make a list of all the activities you remember enjoying from childhood on. Then see if you might like to pick any of those up and try them again.
4. Make a List of things you've always or secretly wanted to try. Pick one and do it.