Five Winning Mistakes

[box options]“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
― Albert Einstein[/box]

1. Fall Down

Remember the first time you rode a bike? You fell, right? How did you learn to ride? By falling.

How do we learn to get better? By getting back up… and falling again.

2. Quit

Sometimes you have to say no to something to make space for something even better. Continue reading “Five Winning Mistakes”

Stealing Ideas: Burgers on English Muffins

I was reading a few other creativity blogs recently and thought that others may be stealing ideas.

“Hmmm. That looks familiar.”

Then, as I kept reading, some of the content felt as if I’d written it.

“I think they took that off my blog and rewrote it. Rude.”

Caught in the Act
Thief – Saxon via Compfight

I started to get a wee bit jealous that some of my content has seemingly been repurposed by other writers.

But here’s the truth… Continue reading “Stealing Ideas: Burgers on English Muffins”

Ideation Marriage Vows: Brainstorming Tips You Can Use Now

ideation – īdēˈāSHən – noun

“The formation of ideas or concepts.”

[box options]In a post a few weeks ago I asked you, awesome readers, what post in my drafts folder you’d like to see materialize into a full blown post. You voted via your comments, and Why Men Make Breakfast got top honors.

A few runner-ups also peaked your interest along with a post originally titled “Ideation Marriage Vows.” So here she is, your requested post on ideas and marriage.[/box]

What is Ideation?

It’s the exciting part of creativity. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the part that is mostly fun, little work and gives you a rush.

  • Ideation is brainstorming.
  • Ideation is collaboration.
  • Ideation is free form creativity.

Everyone wants the idea. Few want to work it out.

I’m fascinated with ideas, creativity and the process of bringing an idea or concept into a tangible form. It’s intriguing that as I sit here, my brain has things it wants to say, it forms those ideas into words, and my fingers put in on the screen in front of me.

But what if it’s a bad idea?” you might say.

To which I might respond: how do you know it’s a bad idea? Continue reading “Ideation Marriage Vows: Brainstorming Tips You Can Use Now”

The It Factor

What’s the difference between success and failure?

What makes one sink and another swim?

Who has the ‘it’ factor? And how do we get ‘it’?

If ‘they’ have ‘it’ and we don’t have ‘it’ how do we get ‘it’ so we can keep ‘it’?


What is ‘It’?

Anyone in any creative field is an ideator–an idea generator.

But so what?

Anyone can come up with ideas. Even bad ideas flourish… (insert the last corny informercial video you saw here). Continue reading “The It Factor”

Ideation Exercise for Creative Flow

15 minutes on the timer. Write down as many ideas as possible.

Rules: no rules. Even the ‘dumbest’ idea can eventually become amazing art or science.

  1. Make bubbles professionally.
  2. Eat only orange things.
  3. Grow something new.
  4. Climb a rock and write a poem on top of it.
  5. Spend a day living like a blind person.
  6. Grow a beard.
  7. Shave a beard.
  8. Shave your head.
  9. Shave the dog.
  10. Charge money for something you’d normally do for free.
  11. Do something for free you’d normally charge for. Continue reading “Ideation Exercise for Creative Flow”

The Shortest Short Stories: Tiny Stories

Whilst traveling, my wife and I ran into a friend who had this book:

Tiny Stories

It’s a fascinating (tiny) book of idea generators, saucy illustrations and super teeny-tiny stories. Coupled with this post of writing prompts I read yesterday, I thought I’d try my hand at a few tiny stories as well.

Please leave your own tiny story in the comments so we can all enjoy your creativity.

Tiny Story #1

She didn’t like it when Janice talked that way.

But then again, Janice didn’t like the way she listened either.

Tiny Story #2

When in doubt, stop doubting.

Tiny Story #3

He liked watching people draw, but his favorite was brush on canvas. That sent him reeling.

Continue reading “The Shortest Short Stories: Tiny Stories”

Be Childish, I Double Dare Ya

[box options]

 In order to make anything a reality, you have to dream about it first.

~Adora Svitak


Vince Alongi (Creative Commons)

We love you  TED Talks. We love your geeks, your smarts, your innovation . . . and your childishness.

Recently, I cozied up to a speech by Andora Svitak (video below) and though she was 12 at the time she made the talk she stirs the controversy pot. See if you agree with her in your quest for creativity.

Age Has Nothing to Do With It

Agreed. Can anyone make a difference? Can anyone be creative? Sure. You betcha.

Continue reading “Be Childish, I Double Dare Ya”

Fuel for Creatives: Time (Part 3 of 3)

Coffee is morning fuel. Gasoline is car fuel. Sunlight is plant fuel. What is fuel for creatives?Ideation + freedom + time = creative fuel. (Read Part 1, Ideation and Part 2, Freedom)Time.

While training as an actor, our troupe garnered loads of great instruction from John Barton’s video series “Playing Shakespeare.” Actors such as Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, and Patrick Stewart played the text wonderfully, showing us newbies how it’s to be done. Our English accents would have to come later. (Much later. Even now, my English friends say my faccent (fake/accent) boasts a Mike Myers feel. Ah well.)

One thing I took away from Barton’s teaching is this: the word “time” is the most important word in Shakespeare. I’ve said that word differently for the past 15 years because of Barton’s instruction.


The word itself is weighted with permanence and sobriety. It is not a flippant word.


The word is a gift, or a curse, depending on one’s vantage point.


We must make time. We must guard this precious resource. We must take the time we have been given and use it doing what we love: creating.

Yes, we can come up with a great idea and have all the freedom in the world, but if we don’t make time, our creative process stops short for a week. A month. A few years. Then decades. Then…. a lifetime.

Make. Time.

Our mantra:

We have all the time we need and more. We will spend our time doing the things we were created to do. We will not settle for excuses. We will not blame our schedule, our friends, our families, our jobs. We will use our time to create and share our expressions. Our creativity is a God-given expression that brings vibrant life to ourselves and to those with whom we share our creativity.

In Steve Jobs’ much quoted 2005 Stanford Commencement speech:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”


Fuel for Creatives: Ideation (Part 1 of 3)

My wife got me thinking. It’s one of her gifts.We chat about her skin care line, Sugared Beauty, and sire some some ideas for the fall season.

I come alive.

Last week, an executive of a multi-million dollar company asked me for some ideas for his business. A new plan emerges from the brainstorming session.

I come alive.

I sit down to a blank computer screen to write a silly little story using a kit called The Writer’s Toolbox.

I come alive.

Are you the same way? Do you love coming up with new ideas, fresh perspectives, and that movie-plot twist on a hum-drum, same-story approach to life and business that put’s you on a thrill ride at Six Flags?

If you’re reading this you are. There’s a word for idea generation: ideation. (Spell check just told me that word doesn’t exist. You’re behind the times Mr. Spell Check.)

As creatives, ideation is the starting point, the spring board, the appetizer to sharing ourselves, via our creative expressions, with the world.

A bit of boldness: that unbirthed idea, the one that you have that just needs to be unearthed, may change the your home. Your community. Heck, it may change the entire world. That is why it is so imperative to get your idea out.

It must be shared.

What if…

  • Your idea saves a business and thousands of jobs.
  • Your painting changes the way people see the world.
  • Your parable resonates with people, metamorphosing them into believers.

It all starts with that idea. We’ll chat about part two and part three of this creative fuel process later this week. Hint: part two doesn’t involve fear. Just sayin’.

What change can you bring today with your gift of creativity? To your kids, your business, your spouse?