Creative Thinking: Think Creatively!

Geek!This is Mark Coupe’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

‘Creativity: the process of developing new, uncommon, or unique ideas.’ – Google Definitions

Many of us want to be more creative. If you’re as deterministic as those in the industry, you’d want your next project, be it art or literature, to be the best you can do. However, sometimes we just might not think that we have what it takes to be creative, especially when today’s world thrives on a good idea. Follow these tips and ensure you have what it takes to be a creative thinker.

Plan Your Way to the Top

All innovative and outwardly creative ideas require thoughtful planning. This can be done as vigorously or as relaxed as you wish; after all, these are your plans and you are the only one that will need to follow them. Mediums and methods such as mind mapping, flowcharts and spider diagrams are a great way to learn and plan. Try writing little notes for yourself and leave them around the house. This may kick-start your brain into taking action. A little bit of planning can snowball into something fantastic.

Discuss, Discuss, Discuss

This works in a variety of ways; either talk to those who share your ideas and visions, or discuss ideas with those with differing views. By doing this, you construct a completely unbiased idea. This also adds motivation and may even add depth to your original ideas. From personal experience, talking to many varying groups helped with my coursework immensely and by the end, the result was completely different than originally envisioned, appealing to a mass audience.


At the time, an idea may seem challenging, especially a thought provoking and innovative one. This should not discourage you, and should instead fuel you into producing something the world has never seen before. Let your ideas and views be known. Look at many successful products and you’ll see that each of them have their own quirk or niche. Develop your own by sticking to your idea and try to envision an audience.

Don’t Let an Idea Escape You

If ever you’ve hit a creative block, carry a notebook or scrap of paper with you wherever you go. Inspiration can hit you like a bucket of water while you’re out and about and it’s so easy to forget when you come to writing or producing something. A notebook will help greatly and easily fits in your pocket. This, along with a pen, is a valuable tool when it comes to spawning an idea.

What a Chore

While it may seem odd, chores are usually mindless enough tasks where you can allow your mind to wander. While your brain is active, let it wander and you’ll find the extra blood rushing to your head from performing mundane tasks helps you to summon that narrative or “cliff-hanger” ending for your story or project. Next time you’re out of ideas, do the washing up or vacuum the house. It works! Be sure not to attempt anything to strenuous when it comes to daydreaming. You want your work to be engaging enough to keep your brain flowing, but dull enough to let your mind wander.

73 thoughts on “Creative Thinking: Think Creatively!”

  1. Pingback: Tiny Enclosure
  2. Mark, as a Creative Person, I thank you for this wonderful article.

    Having said that, I will add that some folks like myself just can’t seem to handle the planning, note taking, etc.

    For me, the Creativity is often an emotional, spontaneous process. The ideas ramble through my head, through my dreams, till I finally sit down at the computer and release that Creative Energy.

    I might also add one piece of advice that works for me.

    Sometimes when I have a Creative Block, I just Get Silly, and go with it.

    My friends agree some of my best work was created when I was Silly.

    All my best, and Happy Holidays,

    Ron Knights

  3. Can’t agree more with some of these points.

    Over the past year I’ve had some great thoughts whilst I’ve been out, only to completely forget them by the time I arrived back at home!

    I’ve always discussed my ideas with others, trying to figure out the best way to approach something I’m having, or may have, difficulty with.

    Great list you guys have here. :)

  4. Quite the read I must say. Interesting and well put.

    Perserve is more of my taste, I’d always try to put in a quirk that be catchy for anything I had to do. Puns, hand to head slap, or anything like that.

    Keep it up. :D

  5. Very interesting read. Some very good points here to consider. I’m one of the many who come up with what I think are interesting ideas for a story, but never put those thoughts down on paper and make it into anything concrete. I’ll have to remember some of your pointers. ;)

  6. Some fantastic points there.

    The chores one is very true… focusing one part of the main allows your creativity to wander, opening all sorts of new doors.

    The notepad thing.. I use my phone, I quickly jot it in to a text and save it as unsent.

    Some good points, very well put and helpful. Well done!

  7. I love this. I often have random thoughts relating to the subject, but I can’t get motivated to do anything, so the carrying a scrap of paper or notebook would work perfectly.


  8. Argh Matey. No but seriously, I enjoyed this read. Ever since last month when I heard a successful person say “things happen when you write them down”, I’ve been taking my brainstorming and creativity a lot more seriously. I take a note-pad wherever I go and always filter my ideas through other mediums. You’re right about the chore part. My best thoughts come to me at the oddest times, and never when I’m waiting for them. I need to be inspired by other works before I can draw my own.

  9. I always always always carry my notebook around with me, it has like everything in it that i ever think about! I would encourage others to keep a notebook too, it really helps with future school bits and bobs :)
    Nice essay!


  10. Some really good point there, I’ll have to make use of a few of them, especially saying as any seemingly good idea I have usually ends up boring and repetetive when executed.
    Keep up the good work!

  11. Thanks for the article!

    We are creative.

    But few of us recognise or acknowledge our own creativity.

    Using your tips, we get something in the way of the creative data stream and start capturing some of its gems.

    Some kind of sense of purpose combined with using tools like mind-mapping or flow charts gives a green light to the creative brain.

    Using and carrying a notebook to capture your ideas is such a simple little technique, and yet this too cues the brain to deliver even more ideas, insights and understandings that can change the way you think about yourself.

    Perseverance is the discipline of creativity. Sometimes it’s all about slogging it out. The muse is fickle if you wait for her to turn up. You just have to get down to work. Before you know it she’s at your side.

    Reminding yourself daily to just put out a couple of percentage points of extra attention to creativity is often all it takes to make for an incredible creative, productive life…

  12. Very informative mark. I always have thoughts that escape me so the notebook thing was a good idea ;) Very good tips in this :)

  13. It’s all good stuff. It’s easier said than done for me though!

    As a musician i’m always trying to find a new creative angle for a composition, or concept that makes me stand out from the crowd.

    A key one in my view is the discuss point – we can get bogged down in what we’re doing, and a fresh mind can just make things flow again.

    All good words of advice, cheers

  14. That was the gratest facking thing i eva read, it is, it is. I bet you cant even describe to me that shite in betta facking words than what you just did, aye? Me eyes be bleedin from the skullfuck of info i just got from this, fackin hell.

  15. Well, Mark, it’s a great article. Really enlightening.
    The notepad idea is brilliant, definitely going to use some of these!

    Well done, I’m never this for-thought. I have excellent ideas and never follow them through because I forget them too easily.


  16. That’s an immensely rousing information-clad editorial that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I am, as I deem you to be, an exceedingly inventive person. Conversely, when I’m out and about and an idea comes to me (oodles of them are phenomenally ingenious), I can never seem to retain the information in my thoughts until I have an opportunity to jot them down. Through your innovative technique, I have successfully noted three pioneering ideas that struck me within the last 7 hours and I shall persist with these ideas, for the reason that you advise to do so, until they evolve to become astoundingly unparalleled. I will, productively, facilitate the production of all rubidium-based products. It may sound dubious and inane now, but hopefully I can pursue my entrepreneurial dreams and become part of the manufacturing trade. This will be entirely thanks to you, Mark Coupe.

  17. Great tips! I generally follow all of thos guidelines already, but I’d never thought of chores as a great opportunity for creative thinking – but you’re absolutely right.

    To expand on your notebook idea, keeping one near your bed is another great way to capture those fleeting ideas. I often go to sleep with a problem, wake up with the solution, but completely forget it by the time I sit down to work.

  18. Very clever mark.
    Keep it up and good luck.
    I always have a notbook with me too becuase i forget everything and have sudden moments of inspiration.


  19. Helpful and informative indeed, this will help greatly with my fiction projects I have planned for next year. Well done Mark!

  20. You’ve made some very good points here, very accurate with the way that the creative process usually works.

    As a creatively-driven person myself, I would also agree with a few other people who have commented, such as Rob, for exmaple, in that creativity can also be a spontaneous act. However, my classes in my Creative Wtiting degree taught me that the brain can be trained to be creative at will, and your points do outline that process.

    Fab point about the housework and notebook (not so good if you’re forgetful and leave your notbook lying around though – like me!)

    All around very instructive and helpful. Fantastic work!!

  21. Aye, nothing worse than creative block. Sucks muchly. I’m not much of a creative writer, but some of this applies to things such as art or music, both of which I’m very into.

    And speaking of good ideas while doing something mindless and boring, alot of my best drawing have done in my Monday morning maths lectures… ¬_¬

    Nice work!

  22. As reading this I noticed some really good points that I use daily with my art. When I’m working on a painting I tend to always come up with a brilliant idea at the time and forget it completely or parts of it. By the time it comes to the time to start it I can’t remember that idea! I’m going to start carrying around a little sketchbook in my purse from now on… ;) Thanks for the great tips!

  23. i do think you’ve got a good lot of info there, though i do agree with the guy below that you’ve gotta have breaks and just flit through anything and be carefree for a while.
    some people might go for the perseverence but it’s not my way.
    good read :)

  24. i think this is a great article you guys have really inspired me to do something with my life with your great article i cant get over how much it has inspired me THANKS YOU GUYS !


  26. Great stuff. I only wish I had as much crearivity to do half of what Mark has done.

    Brilliant work. Mark has a great future ahead of him, he has lots of good ideas and a brilliant mind.

    Keep up the good work Mark and you will always be in demand.

  27. An informative read. Extremely well laid out and decisive in what you want us, the readers, to get and understand. I have used several of these techniques in the past and they do work.

    Good job.

  28. Very nice article, Mark.

    Short, sweet, and to the point. It’s got a lot of tips that I think are going to help my writing drastically. I have no doubt you’re going to win.

  29. I must say this is very fascinating indeed, and quite true. Being one who isn’t very creative this shall be very useful.

    (; lovely bunch of tips you have there

  30. I think this is an excellent piece of writing, very creative in itself with some brilliant ideas. Anyone who can turn the washing up into something positive, well I take my hat off to them, You have obviousy thought very hard about what you’ve written and taken your own advice. Well done Mark.

  31. In particular the point about discussing ideas with those of differing views really struck a cord with me. In the past it’s always been something I’ve really struggled with and admittedly I can be rather hothead and unwilling to listen to opposed views. Generally when the situation occurs where someone disagrees with me I’d always favour to take them to one side and gently whisper in their ear exactly why they’re wrong. I completely understand that sometimes breaking legs isn’t always achievable, especially in reasoned debate or internet discussions where you can’t get a hold of the person to do so. I’ve also been shown that violet dismissive isn’t always in my best interests as a writer. Thank you.

    If nothing else you’ve shown me there is advantage in listening to other points. You have changed me. For that alone you deserve to win.

  32. Some really useful and informative points. In studying law I always find discussing my ideas are a great way of widening my perspective on an issue which stops me from seeing it so one dimensionally and allows me to be more creative in my work.
    All good words of advice Mark.

  33. Wowzers, that was a very good read! Trying to create my own guitar riffs is a tad hard for me, but with this article I hope it’ll help my flow out!

    thanks guys

  34. This was sent to me by a friend and my god am I glad it was. Nice read and its downto earth, enough for anyone to read. Some good writing skills.

  35. For someone as uncreative as me this article was really enjoyable, hopefully I’ll able to use this as a meaning to begin painting that picture I’ve been meaning to do for a long time.

  36. “If ever you’ve hit a creative block, carry a notebook or scrap of paper with you wherever you go.”

    I use to do this when I tried writing songs for my bands, definitely helped me out.

  37. This is an excellent article full of very good and thoughtful ideas. I really enjoyed reading it. I particularly like the point about sharing ideas with others and talking them through.

  38. As an old codger, it’s good to see something well balanced and well presented by the new boys. In the sixties, I used a dictation machine for my solutions to problems that seemed to hit a brick wall. The mind in neutral, total concentration on a float (fishing) and solutions would just pop into my head. A quick talk into the little dictation machine and presto, saved. Never the less, forward planning, social intercourse and a wide approach, provides solutions that probably would not have been apparent. Brainstorming, a tool to that finds a ridiculous solution that often works. All these points are covered and this article will give inspiration to the future generation. Well done Mark.

  39. Mark you are a truly inspiring person you are oozing with creative thinking and I believe you are one of the great minds of the world I am hounered to be your friend keep on rocking dude !

  40. That’s brilliant, Mark! Being creative is not just having the idea but being persistant enough to develop it. There’s a saying (somewhere) about invention being 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration (or something like that) so I like the bit about ‘persevere’

    Keep it up!

  41. It was good, informative for a first time writer. I do have to say my favorite part was the “get the notebook” one because I’ve been writing a lot and until a professor told me about notebooks, I’ve been keeping all my story parts in my head and that was frustrating. So yes, people get the notebooks-they really help!!

    I don’t always share my ideas as I’m the type where I think someone will take them, but sharing is good with friends.
    “Envision an audience”, I’ve heard this and like it. I was told from an early age I do this and it really helps when writing.

    The mind, I believe, can wander at any time. Just yesterday I was watching a movie and a thought came into my mind for my upcoming story, so I think it can come at any time, not just with chores.

    Overall, nice pointers.

  42. Very good ideas to explain how to be creative. I will try these techniques to develop my skills.I like thinking when doing mundane jobs and I have plenty of those to do!

  43. i had a few creative crises in my day and then instead of relaxing and doing something else to relieve stress i tended to push myself even more and get no results. so i can really appreciate these tips!

    good job! short but precise and very helpful!

  44. I often jot down random thoughts and ideas as they pop into my head. Some people carry a small recording device to do that.

    It is imperative to not get wrapped up in a project so that you cannot see the first for the trees, as the saying goes. Take a break and do something else, and yes, get another person’s opinion and input.

  45. An interesting subject.
    Creative thinking skills are as much about attitude and self-confidence as about talent.
    Creativity is often less ordered, structured and predictable. As you are not looking for ‘one’ answer, you are likely to come up with lots of suggestions that are not ‘right”. This can be difficult if you are more used to analytical and logical approaches. It can also be experienced as ‘risky’ as the prospect of making a mistake or not coming up with an answer is more likely.
    Strong emotional self-management is often needed in order to allow creative thinking states to emerge. It is important to be able to cope with risk, confusion,disorder and feeling that you are not progressing quickly.
    There is no limit to ways of thinking creatively.
    You have covered a number of excellent ideas which will be helpful to others. I enjoyed your editorial.
    Well done

  46. excellent article
    I keep A pad and pen next to my bed, some times you wake up with a great idea and by morning you have forgotten about it, it is frustrating trying to remember what it is you have forgotten.. I am a great believer in planning but I sometimes get bogged down at the planning stage so your idea of going and doing something else then coming back with fresh eyes is a good one.

  47. Excellent and informative article, very well written. Trouble is that by the time I have got my pen and note pad out of my bag I have forgotten my thoughts! LoL

  48. You are a true inspiration to me and all my cats – we are now trying new ways to make cumans (figure it out). You are great. Thank you.

    Oh and btw, I find all my ideas come when I’m walking my numerous dogs, and I used to write it on their faces, but now I use a notebook.


  49. Thankyou for this very well written post with some great pointers. I especially agree with the persevering part. All my writing ideas came from sticking at it and also discussing with other colleagues. This changed my orgional ideas for the better.

    Thanks again for this post!

  50. I have always struggled with my creative writing and have never been able to construct good ideas. Ill deffinatly try to use some of these techniques in helping with my creativeness!

    When persevering with something, its always good to take often breaks, overloading your mind would stop ideas from coming through!

    Thanks again and ill deffinatly be using some of these techniques soon!

  51. You’ve deffinatly got some good info there. Sticking at something until its finished is always a good tip. Loosing interest when developing an idea is a problem for some people.

    Well written and a good read


  52. Nice article here you have wrote!

    Some of the points here should help a lot with my writing, especially the one about bringing a pen and paper wherever you go. Thinking of a good idea, only to forget it again is really annoying!

    Thanks for this post

  53. The good thing about this article is that it can be used in all areas of work, whether it be writing, music, art… anything! Ill try and use some of the tips myself.


  54. Definitely a good read. Under discussion though, I think that another important point is to actually take all criticism or alternative ideas as seriously as possible. Even try to cross-examine these points with other people. Usually when I’m being creative on something and the whole thing is finally starting to take shape, I tend to find that I’m too involved. Whatever I’m working on (in my case as a 3D CG artist) tends to by this point be “My Baby” if you will. I myself tend to not take alternative ideas, especially at a late stage, particularly well. Taking a step back and seeing it from an outsiders perspective is difficult to do, especially if you’ve got a looming deadline, but the end result can be so much more spectacular. Doesn’t mean the outsider is always right mind you ;).

  55. take two….
    this is pretty dam good… i like your ideas and everything… the notebook would take up space though lol and if you stand in a street scribbling into a notebook people might think you’re weird but whatever floats yourrrr boat :)

  56. Nice article you have written here. Sharing your ideas with other people always helps improve them. I’m sure these tips will come in useful to me and to everyone else who reads this!

  57. A cracking read man, really inspiring, i used to write in a little book i took to school and this might just help me write more. i only remembered through your topic on notebooks, so thanks for reminded me!

  58. What an interesting read,Mark! Thought provoking & to the point. Some great ideas to consider especially the discussion suggestion-I find this improves creative thinking by considering other points of view & challenging your own. Well done & Good luck! Keep contributing to internet articles.

  59. i would like to be more creative in the future and have found this recource extremely helpful and will put many of these ingenious ideas into practice.
    i like the idea of the notebook because it is dead good

  60. An interesting read for sure. And written like a pro i must add.

    For me, well my mind is just a messy bundle of ideas most of the time so i can definitely identify with the need for some sort of planning otherwise i end up going nowhere.

    Nice one

  61. I’d recently been at a loss creative-wise, and this article has been really helpful.

    I had previously tried the post-it notes/notepad ideas but never the chore idea. It really worked, I’d definitely recommend the washing up to get the creative juices flowing.

    Great article- Thanks

  62. Great article, i think doing chores really does allow your mind to wander and is a great way to work around a block. Also discussion is a great way to work out exactly what your thinking, I often find I have an inclination but don’t fully comprehend it until I have fleshed it out with someone else. Very helpful!

  63. Nice acticle you have written, full of useful well written tips! Being a musician, i can use these tips for when writing music! 
    When I set myself deadlines I can never stick to them religiously, but these tips might help me break things down a bit.

  64. Good work, Mark I particularly liked the notebook idea, as I carry my diary with me at all times, I’ll begin using it as my ‘jotter’. You also made me realise how many pieces of reciepts I have in my draw where I have written random lyrics or general ramblings in work, my diary may save space :)
    Good luck guys

  65. This has really inspired me Mark! It’s amazing to think that someone could ever write such lovely, inspirational, sense-making words.
    Thanks for this!
    Made a good read late on a Wednesday night too.

  66. A very interesting article and really well written! I found it gave me some good tips as on the rare occasions I do have some inspiration, I could do with that notebook! I also have plenty of mundane tasks to do, so thanks for the ideas with how to use that time more fruitfully as well!

    Well done you :-)

  67. A very well written article Mark. I often have problems with developing a creative train of thought and I am hoping the ideas you put forward will aid my thinking.

  68. I dont often keep a pad closeby to write things down but when i have a really sweet dream i usually type it up on my computer just because. Recently ive been having a drawing block so i’ll be sure to keep in mind about the notepad. Helpful article, thanks.

  69. As one of the most important people in the world, i am always trying to be creative in everything i do, i find your tips to be extremely informative, if people follow these helpful tips then creativity is something that can easily be achieved. Creativity is vital to the modern world, it is something that everybody needs to aspire to, as evolution is always for the good. Thank you and good night.

  70. Wow, I’m definitely hitting the canvas this time. I’ve been trying to paint something for ages but I’ve been hit by a big ol’ mental wall. Hopefully I get something done, this guide was something I really needed, thanks Mark.

  71. I find when I come up with an idea I also enjoy to discuss with others, with their thoughts and opinions I can elaborate upon my idea and make it much more of what it was originally.

    Keep up the good work, your ideas are inspiring and very very helpful

  72. I would never ever of agreed to the whole chores thing if I hadn’t of tried it out myself, and boy does it work, okay I ended up with more water on the floor than in the bowl because of my wondering mind but it helped so much to fabricate ideas out of nothing. Thanks for the help, I hope you win, you deserve it

  73. In college I do ameteur directing and filmmaking, so it’s nice to see an article that slots into today’s day and age. These are creative times, and there’s nothing better than daydreaming.

    However, I find creativity comes to me if I constantly reject my first ideas, it challenges me. I also find myself combining the two, creating a perspective I never thought possible.

    Well done, great read.

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