How to be more Creative?

How to be more Creative?

Creative Persons

In Creativity (Csikszentmihalyi 1996) there are various methods suggested, and I quote:

`Cultivating Flow In Everyday Life

1)    Wake up in the morning with a specific goal to look forward to.

2)    If you do anything well, it becomes enjoyable.

3)    To keep enjoying something, you need to increase its complexity.

Habits of Strength

1)    Take charge of your schedule

2)    Make time for reflection and relaxation

3)    Shape your space.

4)    Find out what you like and what you hate about life.

5)    Start doing more of what you love, less of what you hate.

6)    Aim for complexity.

Problem Finding

1)    Find a way to express what moves you

2)    Look at problems from as many viewpoints as possible

3)    Figure out the implications of the problem

4)    Implement the solution

Divergent Thinking

1)    Produce as many ideas as possible

2)    Have as many different ideas as possible

3)    Try to produce unlikely ideas’

(Csikszentmihalyi 1996: 343-72)

The key issue is – some people who do Screenwriting / Filmmaking sometimes don’t realize: they’re doing Creativity.

So, first: learn about Creativity.

Csikszentmihalyi is one of the international-world-leading best, on the topic.

Another excellent point comes from Jack Foster in How To Get Ideas (1996):

`THINK VISUALLY – Many of the most creative minds in history thought with pictures instead of words.

Einstein said that he rarely thought in words. Notions came to him in images that only later he tried to express in words or formulas.

William Harvey was watching the exposed heart of a living fish when he suddenly “saw” it as a pump.

Frank Lloyd Wright thought of houses and buildings not as separate structures but as integral parts of the landscape.

Alfred Wegener noticed that the west coast of Africa fit into the east coast of South America and saw instantly that all continents were once part of a single continent.

Man Ray saw a woman’s torso as a cello.

Einstein wondered what the world would look like to a person riding a ray of light as it sped through space.

In trying to come to grips with the concept of infinity, David Hilbert, the mathematician, imagined a hotel with an infinite number of rooms that were all occupied. He then imagined a new guest arriving who asked for a room. “But of course,” said the innkeeper, and he moved the person in room one to room two, the person in room two to room three, the person in room three to room four, and so on ad infinitum, thus freeing up room one for the new guest.

Lord Kelvin hit upon the idea of the mirror galvanometer when he noticed a reflection of light on his monacle.

Freud conceived the idea of the sublimation of instinct by looking at a two-part cartoon – in the first picture, a little girl was herding a flock of goslings with a stick; in the second she has grown into a governess herding a flock of ladies with a parasol.

Neils Bohr imagined in his mind’s eye that an atom looked like our solar system.

(Foster 1996, pp. 94-6)

Neils Bohr saw the structure of the atom like a solar system.

Neils Bohr saw the structure of the atom like a solar system.

Another great post on creativity: How Geniuses Think (2012)

Likewise – when I was trying to solve the problem of integrating two separate theories – Csikszentmihalyi’s `systems model of creativity’ and Bourdieu’s `practice theory’ – while out walking, in a sudden flash, I saw them in in my mind’s eye exactly like this animated diagram below, which has since become the general model of Creative Practice Theory. (Also, Professor Csikszentmihalyi himself has approved the model.)

CPT General Model Diagram (Velikovsky 2012)

Creative Practice Theory – General Model Diagram (Velikovsky 2012)

An interesting New Scientist article: Computer generates all possible ideas to beat patent trolls (2016)

And – here is a big list of creativity techniques.

And Chapter 22 “”How To Be More Creative” in this book (Explaining Creativity, Sawyer 2012, 2nd Edn) has great research/answers/solutions to the problem of: How To Be More Creative.

Comments welcome.


JT Velikovsky

High-RoI Story/Screenplay/Movie and Transmedia Researcher

The above is (mostly) an adapted excerpt, from my doctoral thesis: “Communication, Creativity and Consilience in Cinema”. It is presented here for the benefit of fellow screenwriting, filmmaking and creativity researchers. For more, see https://aftrs.academia.edu/JTVelikovsky

JT Velikovsky is also a produced feature film screenwriter and million-selling transmedia writer-director-producer. He has been a professional story analyst for major film studios, film funding organizations, and for the national writer’s guild. For more see: http://on-writering.blogspot.com/



Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1996), Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention (1st edn.; New York: HarperCollins) viii, 456 p.

Foster, J (1996), How To Get Ideas, 1st edn, Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco.

18 thoughts on “StoryAlity #9: How to be more Creative?

  1. New ideas are taking two completely separate concepts and finding the thing that fuses them — the third point – make it a triangle, not just a line. Singlular Thinking Versus multidimensional observational incorporation of surprising connections ala Cezanne saying that any two colors put randoming on the canvas make a connection… in pointalism a new color emerges of the two that the eye perceives as one.

    Love your mind…. Thanks for getting us thinking!

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