Thursday, February 4, 2010


I'm not going to lie, this morning my head is full of stuffing.

Initially I considered doing a fun little segment on Superbowl Sunday. Then I took a sneak peak at the post Cheryl has in store for us tomorrow and I decided there was no way my idea could live in the shadows of her brilliance.

So desperate am I for some creative inspiration on this rainy, dreary, I'm-so-over-it-Thursday morning, that I decided to consult with Roger von Oech. Roger is Highlowaha's trusted friend and author or the Creative Whack Pack, most often seen trolling our site on Wednesdays. But, desperate times, desperate measures.

Each card in Roger's Whack Pack contains a principle about creativity. The idea is to whack your idea with a card from his pack and, by virtue of applying his creative principle, improve the quality of your original idea.

I drew a card wondering how one of von Oech's creative principles might work in the absence of an original idea. Here's what I got...
See the Positive. The human mind, "notes scientist W.I. Beveridge, "likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with a similar energy." When you judge new ideas, focus initially on their positive ad interesting features. This will counteract a natural negative bias, and help you to develop more ideas. What's positive about the idea?
I have no choice but to ask myself, what is positive about my having no idea?

Richard just walked by and said, "It's positive, because it makes you appear human." I'm pretty sure there's no question among readers as to whether or not I am human. But, Richard loves me and he hasn't had coffee yet. What can I expect?

How about...
  • It's positive because you'll get through the post faster and you'll have a couple extra minutes to spare.
  • It's positive because in the absence of something new to think about, you might actually reflect on something old.
  • It's positive because it reminds us that new is not always better and there's room for tried and true.
  • It's positive because, having no idea means my brain is declaring today a holiday and, as is usually the case after holidays, that it will come back better and more refreshed.
  • It's positive because my lack of idea might prompt one of you to jump in and share one of your ideas...
Do I finish with an invitation to join me in the comment section and to share one of your ideas? Or, maybe you'll help generate more reasons why my lack of ideas is positive. Or, maybe someone takes a hand at applying von Oech's creative principle to a totally different idea. Or, maybe I scrap the whole meet-me-in-the-comment-section thing and end with something trite or witty. Here's the thing...

I have no idea.

Signing off until tomorrow...


Heather said...

Sorry to hear your brain is filled with stuffing...but alas it is a good thing to admit that even the most creative person on earth is at a loss for a creative idea. It gives ME permission to be without an idea the next time I run into a creative dilemma.

I just watched a feature on "buy" ology on the Today show that I'm hoping you saw as my mind is full of ideas.

Okay to my conference. Last night I got to meet Fred Gray the Attorney who represented Rosa Parks in the Montgomery bus boycott, Martin Luther King Jr. in multiple cases and the college students in the Dixon v. Alabama case. I also got to meet John Dixon and James McFadden two of the students who filed that groundbreaking lawsuit with Fred Gray's help...such an awesome experience to hear their take on something that helped shape our nation.

Claudia @ Highlowaha said...

Wow, Heather. Sounds like a great experience so far. In the afternoon the beach. In the evening a great keynote.

Rain all day today in Texas. You're not missing anything.

Robin said...

It must be national brain full of stuffing day. I too am full of stuffing as I prepare to facilitate a three day training. I like to think of it as conserving mental energy.

lindsaymarie said...

a positive: this post made me start my day with a laugh! (don't worry, it's a sympathetic man-i've-been-there laugh, not a hahaha claudia's stumped! laugh.)
i've got no ideas either, but here's a song i'm loving recently:
makes me smile. happy thursday, everyone.

Peggy said...

Claudia, I feel your stuffing!! As I'm trying to pull something out of your 'Original Post' to cultivate my creative inspiration... all that comes to my mind is blurfing!(blog surfing)

Because I'm at a point in my life that no one needs an original thought from me, I simmply have resolved to copying! And I've become quite good at it...

I copy recipes from great 'foodie' sites

I copy quotes to post on facebook and my creative greetings from 'famous quote' sites

I CASe (copy and share EVERYTHING) from card making sites

I copy hints for decorating and designing from bloggers willing to share their ideas.

However, through my vast experience of being a jack of all trades, master of none, I think I bring a sense of 'originality' to my creative way of thinking, because my lack of ingenuity is a learned combination of 100's of resources at my fingertips.

Wow, that was a mouthful... all words over 5 letters were looked up on a definition website for accuracy

Claudia @ Highlowaha said...

Peggy, you are cracking me up.

Actually, I'm kind of having fun reading your comments this morning. They are bringing a smile to my face.

Katie said...

I agree with Heather. It's comforting to know that the most creative person I know runs out of an idea sometimes.

I think it's positive because we are hearing random facts/updates from everyone about their day/what they love to copy. I love to copy new favorite songs from youtube! Here's my current favorite:

Anyone who has been to the movies lately may have heard it in the Disney Oceans movie trailer.

Happy day, HLA! I'm off to the grocery store to prepare for the giant winter storm coming this way (the rain that's currently in Texas). They are saying we could get between 20-40 inches of snow between Friday and Saturday! Madness!

Cristine said...

How about this - a cool FREE Valentine's Day card.

I'm hosting a giveaway on my website

I've got a FREE 3-D card from Snapily to giveaway. Snapily does 3-d cards, invitations and scrapbook pages.

Even if you don't win, you can get a free card from Snapily, you just pay $2.23 s&h.

Help me get more readers to my website. I've got freebies and more too!

Thanks everyone

Claudia @ Highlowaha said...

Will do, Cristine. Let's help Cristine get some traffic to her great site. Tweet, Facebook, smoke signals, whatever it takes!