Document your experiences!

Creativity, like all other processes in life, needs fuel, and the fuel for your creativity is your experiences.


Any one that wants to boost his or her creativity, in whatever field, therefore needs to be a collector of experiences and stimuli that could later either be used directly in the creative process or as a trigger for new associations. A music composer is collecting sound experiences, a painter is collecting images, an inventor is collecting ways to solve technical problems…

All these experiences should ideally be readily available whenever needed for the creative process. But sadly, our memory is too often failing us, and unless we consistently document our experiences, we will often not be able to retrieve them when once they are needed.

The only way to compensate for our failing memory is to get into the habit of documenting our experiences as they unfold in front of us.

Through the centuries, this has been done by taking notes or doing sketches. Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks are perhaps the best example how documented experiences could later be turned into paintings or inventions, and many great novelists have always been carrying a notebook in which to document their thoughts and impressions in the moment.

Luckily, documenting is easier now than ever before in history. Most of us are never leaving home without our smartphone, and with this versatile device we can take pictures, record sound, write notes or record voice memos.

Making it a habit to always document anything you experience that surprises you, makes you think, or laugh, or reflect, will over time provide you with a documentary library of experiences that is handy at any time you’ll need it.

You could also use this library without any specific intentions. Just browsing among your documented past experiences, may trigger ideas for new projects.

Illustration: – Pexels

svensk_flagga   Detta blogginlägg på svenska

Author: Karl Ekdahl

International public health leader and creativity blogger.

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