Photo by Tomas Anunziata from Pexels

By Kevin Elliott

When you are in a creative business like video production, generating ideas is your job. It’s one of the best parts of the job in my opinion, but sometimes the sparks don’t fly and the juices don’t flow. 

I’ve found a couple techniques that help ideas start popping again, both of which I discovered by accident. I hope they help you in your next dry spell.

Do a Menial Task

My favorite is to mow the lawn. I have a big yard that requires a riding mower. And it never fails – as I’m tooling around on the mower, letting my mind wander, I get my best ideas. 

It also happens when I’m on a long road trip. Something about occupying my busy brain with something that takes focus but not too much analysis frees up my idea center. It provides just enough distraction to let my mind relax.

Next time you are hard up for ideas, try doing something boring.

Watch (or Read) Amazing Work Outside Your Field

I have a thing for the late writer and speaker Christopher Hitchens. I’ve read most of his books and watched dozens of hours of his lectures and debates on YouTube.

His writing and speaking have nothing to do with video production or the subjects we film. But his work is astonishing. And when I absorb his genius in a field other than my own, it inspires me in my own. Don’t know why.

One of the reasons we produce our docu-series CRAFT is to expose ourselves to creatives in other fields. Watching a brilliant watercolorist paint or a comic tell jokes can break your creative log jam.

Creativity breeds creativity. Watching someone else’s can enhance yours.

If You Want to Go Really Deep …

Try the books of Edward De Bono, especially Lateral Thinking. De Bono explains the phenomenon of creativity and provides practical exercises for generating new ideas. 

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