November 20, 2017

3 ways to explore

Tips for foraging from the author of IdeaSpotting

Einstein used to spend 55 minutes exploring for every five minutes he spent coming up with ideas, says Sam Harrison, the author of IdeaSpotting: How to Find Your Next Great Idea.

3 ways to explore

Let’s go! Need an idea? Get out in the world and find one. Image by Amanda Sandlin

Clearly foraging — the feed-your-brain step of the creative process — is essential to inventiveness.

Here are three types of foraging every creative person should engage in, Harrison says:

  1. Firing-range exploring. That’s targeted research for a specific project.
  2. Free-range exploring, or looking for inspiration, influences and ideas on a daily basis — while traveling, seeing new movies, reading odd magazines, checking out hot restaurants and exhibits.
  3. Exploring to find passion. Here’s a Zen tip: “If something bores you for five minutes, try it for 10,” Harrison says. “Eventually, you’ll get excited about it.”

One of the great things about being a creative person is the license it gives you to explore, learn and grow.

“Are you filling your life with work?” asks Harrison. “Or are you filling your work with life?”

  • Master the Art of the Storyteller

    My husband likes to quote Anonymous, who said: “If a man speaks in the forest, and no woman is there to hear him, is he still wrong?”

    The corporate communication writer’s corollary: If you cover your terribly serious and important stories, and nobody pays attention, does your message still make a sound?

    In this creative-writing workshop, you’ll learn how to write copy that grabs attention, keeps it longer, communicates more clearly, enhances credibility and is more likely to go viral. You’ll walk away with techniques — not just what to do, but how — for painting pictures in your audience members’ minds so they understand your points faster, enjoy your information more and remember it longer.

    At Portland creative writing workshopMaster the Art of the Storyteller — a two-day creative writing master class on July 25-26, 2018 in Portland — you’ll learn how to bring your messages to life with storytelling, wordplay and metaphor. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

    • Grab Attention With Feature Stories: Craft creative leads and kickers.
    • Make Your Copy More Colorful: Engage readers with fun facts, juicy details.
    • Play With Your Words: Spice up your headlines, leads and sound bites with wordplay.
    • Master the Art of the Storyteller: Tap ‘the most powerful form of human communication’.
    • Add Meaning With Metaphor: Clarify complex concepts with analogy.
    • Edit, write, repeat: Bring your laptop and a story to work on, write and rewrite, get and give feedback, and leave with a totally rewritten piece.

    Learn more about the Master Class.

    Register for Master the Art of Storytelling Workshop in Portland


    Browse all upcoming Master Classes.

    Would you like to hold an in-house Make Your Copy More Creative workshop? Contact Ann directly.

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Source: Sam Harrison, the author of IdeaSpotting: How to Find Your Next Great Idea, How, 2006

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