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Get in the mood

It is virtually impossible to be creative unless you are in a certain frame of mind.  Most of us spend our days busily thinking about tasks to do, places to be, people to see, children to look after or any number of other issues.  When our mind is full of these topics, creativity is blocked.


Step 1:  Finding time and space to be creative

If you want to be creative, you need to set aside enough time AND find a quiet space away from interruptions.  It can take an hour at least, for the mind to calm and to clear of the day to day clutter. Have a PostIt note block handy, if something comes up in your mind, like “I need to book a service for the car”, jot it down on a PostIt and then you can forget about it.  Sit quietly, let your mind calm and wait, without putting yourself under time pressure.

Interruptions kill creativity, it can take 15-20 minute to get back in the right frame of mind, so exclude phones, email, social media and all other possible interruptions.

It may be difficult in todays world, but don’t put yourself under time pressure. Looking at a clock and thinking “Oh no, its 1 hour already and I’ve got nothing!” will block creative thinking. Relax in a calm, quiet space.


Step 2:  Playing with ideas

This is the most important part of creativity, letting your unconscious mind be free to breathe and bring those thoughts to your conscious mind. Once your mind is clearer from the day to day clutter, you will find these fresh ideas forming. Write ideas down, but most importantly, don’t judge, just go with the flow. One idea can lead to another and another.

At this stage, remember:

There is no such thing as a mistake.

Continue to play with your high level ideas until you feel you have enough to take to the next level.


Step 3:  Developing

By now you will have a few ideas written down as high level concepts. Again, without judgement, flesh them out, clarify and add some details. See where it leads, go further than you sensibly think. At this stage, don’t let your logical brain tell you “thats awful, forget it!”.


Step 4:  Assessing

Now is the time to test your ideas on your more logical part of your brain. Is the idea viable? Creativity is essentially about new ideas – are your new ideas able to be easily understood by others?

This step will bring you out of your more creative phase, so don’t be tempted to start assessing whilst trying to still be creative. The two don’t mix.

Unless you are an individual, once you have assessed ideas, build then out at a practical level and start to work with others to bring them to fruition (or not).


So now, find your quiet space and think about a great Subject Line !


Interruptions kill creativity, just ask Beethoven!