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    Seven Creativity Exercises

    To stimulate that magnificent right brain of yours, try these seven creativity exercises.

    But not all at the same time...

    Mumbles

    People required: 2 to 4

    Find a silly friend or three and spend at least five minutes mumbling to each other. Use inflections the way you would during normal conversation, but no words are allowed. Will you laugh? Probably. It's a simple stretching exercise. Your right brain will love it, and left brain will be completely confused. And that's the optimal learning state.


    Circle Story

    People required: 3 to 7

    There's probably hundreds of you who've played something like this as children. Get at least two other people. The first person starts off by saying, "Once upon a time, there was a..." and creates the beginning of a simple fairy tale or other story. Start building, then stop after about a minute and pass the story baton to the next person. The next person picks up where the previous one left off, and so forth around the story circle. Make at least two complete rotations through the circle before allowing someone -- anyone -- to end the story.


    Geometric Chaos

    People required: 1

    Sit down with a pen and some blank paper. Pick up the pen, close your eyes, and rest the point of the pen on the paper. Open your eyes. Start writing from wherever you are. The object of this exercise is to write in such a way that the words and sentences form a geometrical shape -- a circle, square, triangle, or whatever you like. When you reach the point at which you started, keep writing beneath the first line so that you end up creating nested lines, a spiral of words.

    You must write for at least five minutes or until you reach the center of your geometric object.


    Write a Sonnet

    If you're a poet, work in the formal setting of a sonnet. It's challenging, but doable -- and actually a lot of fun. Here's one of mine: One big river comes down from the mountains
    Through great fertile valleys of gold and green.
    Purple dahlias and azure fountains
    Dance in the meadows where winter has been.
    Into white water my log raft surges,
    Buoyed up by foam, propelled by melted snow.
    I ride it surely 'til it emerges
    Far downstream where the few and faithful go.
    Sometimes I pull the tiller hard and land,
    Climb a tall Doug Fir for a longer view
    To watch gold fingers touch the ocean sand
    And know that I'll be carried down there, too.
       Somewhere between its finish and the start
       One big river carves the chambers of my heart.

    That's certainly not a perfect sonnet, but I liked it!


    Child's Play

    If you are frequently around small children, sit and play with them. The rule: You let THEM show YOU how to play. If they're old enough to talk, ask them for help. Ask them, "Can you teach me how to play?" then let go of being an adult, if you dare, and be what happens.


    Walking Real

    Go for a walk. Let your mind wander. The rules: Breathe. Put one foot in front of the other. Don't step into a hole.


    Tube the Toothpaste

    If you're a neat toothpaste tube user, one who loves to roll it up from the bottom ever-so-nicely, stop doing it for a week. Squeeze that tube any old place you like. Heck, squeeze it with your toes if that winds your watch. How does that feel? Try this one with any habit you have -- do its opposite for a week, and watch your brain flip out.

    My left brain always seems to want a logical conclusion.

    Too bad, brain.

    Copyright © 2002 Michael Knowles

    Michael Knowles is a writer, business communications coach, and marketing specialist who helps small businesses and professionals increase profits and better serve their customers and clients. Michael publishes WriteThinking and is author of the soon-to-be published eBook, 101 Ideas for Generating Ideas. For a no-cost personal consultation, e-mail coach@mwknowles.com.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

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    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)

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