Comfort. We love it. Those warm slippers, a worn roomy t-shirt, and creativity projects like writing “How to XXY in 3 Steps” that you’ve done so many times you can write them with your eyes shut. (this post is part of the Quick Writing Online Guidelines Resource) In fact, you most likely have numerous creative things you’ve done enough times that you can do them without stretching yourself at all. But is that what you really want? Do you want to live within a comfortable level of creativity that works – but doesn’t excite you?
Or do you want to push yourself in ways that lead you down colorful paths that you hardly dare to imagine? If you answered yes to that question, then read on for a fun and quick creativity technique you can use in all aspects of your life.
Your creativity, unlike many other aspects of life, is entirely your own. There is not a single person on this planet (or any other) who has your combination of life experience, talents, skills, desires, and passions. So it makes sense that if you’re aiming for a creative path that is not completely unique – completely your own – then your path will not lead you to ultimate authentic success.
- This does not mean you can’t use information that already exists.
- This does not mean you can’t use tools that other people use.
- This does not mean you can’t use other people’s ideas.
What it does mean is that you need to creatively combine those tools and ideas in unique ways – in ways that are personal to you.
As a blogger or author or awesome writer of any ilk , if you want to succeed and you define success as having readers, then one of your primary goals needs to be to give the readers amazing information that is of great value to them.
And to establish yourself as a valuable voice in the community, you need to deliver that information in exciting and personal ways. This can feel daunting. You might find yourself thinking, geez, Karen, that sounds good but how in the heck do I do that? How do I consistently spew out creative information in my uniquely personal way? In ways that push my normal boundaries?
Not to worry. There are many creativity methods and creative tools you can use to stimulate your unique thinking and get your ideas out there in personally powerful ways. Today I’m going to talk about one creativity tool called S-C-A-M-P-E-R.
SCAMPER is a euphemism that stands for:
- Magnify or Modify
- Put to other use
- Rearrange or Reverse
For example: Suppose you read an article on your favorite blog that focuses on using Twitter to improve blog traffic. A pretty straightforward topic that you can use to jump start your own article you’d like to share with your readers and you really want to amp it up and make it your own. Begin with SCAMPER by asking yourself the following questions:
- What can be substituted in the article?
- What can I combine with the information in the article?
- How can I adapt the article?
- How can I modify the article?
- What can I magnify or add to the article?
- What other uses can I find for the information?
- What can be eliminated from the article?
- What is the reverse of the information presented in this article?
- What rearrangement of the article might make it better?
What if we substituted in the Twitter/blogging article by swapping Twitter for Linkedin? (or ebooks for blogging?). And how about combining the information in this article with a living your best life kind of article? Or a training your dog article? Hmm, then we’d have “Using Linkedin to Train Your Readers Right.”
As you continue to move through the SCAMPER questions you’ll find your thinking evolves into ways you wouldn’t have thought about just by sitting and telling yourself to produce something awesomely creative. I know you’re smart and I know you get the idea, so I’ll leave it to your unique brain to use the above article idea as an example to experience stretching yourself.
The basic idea of using SCAMPER and other creativity techniques, is to force your brain to think outside its usual patterns. You can use SCAMPER for your writing, your life, your parenting, and you might just be surprised at how much fun it is.
Moral of the story: Consistently force yourself to break your own boundaries and you are bound to fail in new and exciting ways. And this, my friends, will undoubtedly lead you to a brighter and much more successful future. SCAMPER away!
photo by █ Slices of Light