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Thread: Your creative process

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    Default Your creative process

    I'm especially interested in the brainstorming and organization, habits, etc., of writers, but whatever kind of creative stuff you're interested in, please describe (in great detail if you're so inclined) your process.

    For example:

    Do you have an office or some sort of dedicated space?

    If you write, do you mostly write by hand or type?

    Do you listen to music while you brainstorm?

    Ever use mind altering substances to enhance creativity or get into a certain state?

    Do you talk about your work with others? Workshop? Bounce ideas off a friend or partner?

    Do you brainstorm on paper? How does that usually look?

    Do you have a strict routine or schedule for creative time?

    Do you have any way of saving ideas when you're not at home?

    And anything else you can think of!

    I'm interested in general, but I of course am mostly interested in the differences in certain types, so any input you have about that is appreciated as well.

    And I'd also like to know what kinda stuff you like to write/draw/whatever if you want to talk about it
    Last edited by schwiftyrickty; 10-18-2018 at 07:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schwiftyrickty View Post
    I'm especially interested in the brainstorming and organization, habits, etc., of writers, but whatever kind of creative stuff you're interested in, please describe (in great detail if you're so inclined) your process.

    For example:

    Do you have an office or some sort of dedicated space?
    I don't have an office, so I mostly work in my room. Any place will do though, preferably private.

    If you write, do you mostly write by hand or type?
    I type. Writing is more flexible, but I've found it's way easier to organize/edit and refer back to ideas if you type them.

    Do you listen to music while you brainstorm?
    Nope, I find it distracting.

    Ever use mind altering substances to enhance creativity or get into a certain state?
    Nope. I do Sufi practices which are way better.

    Do you talk about your work with others? Workshop? Bounce ideas off a friend or partner?
    Only rarely. I find the ideas I'm working on are difficult for most people to understand or see the relevance of.

    Do you brainstorm on paper? How does that usually look?
    If you mean, write down (or type) ideas and insights, then yes.

    Do you have a strict routine or schedule for creative time?
    Whenever I have an insight I write it down. Sometimes I look over past notes if I need inspiration. You can't schedule inspiration.

    Do you have any way of saving ideas when you're not at home?
    I've been using Evernote on my phone.

    I find the absolute most important thing is to write. everything. down. Roald Dahl was describing his creative process and mentioned that people get ideas all the time, but they lose them because they don't write them down. It also helps you to clarify your thoughts and "make space" for new ideas.

    And, btw, I mostly work on what I like to call "mathematical philosophy", including socionics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehotelambush View Post
    I don't have an office, so I mostly work in my room. Any place will do though, preferably private.



    I type. Writing is more flexible, but I've found it's way easier to organize/edit and refer back to ideas if you type them.



    Nope, I find it distracting.



    Nope. I do Sufi practices which are way better.



    Only rarely. I find the ideas I'm working on are difficult for most people to understand or see the relevance of.



    If you mean, write down (or type) ideas and insights, then yes.



    Whenever I have an insight I write it down. Sometimes I look over past notes if I need inspiration. You can't schedule inspiration.



    I've been using Evernote on my phone.

    I find the absolute most important thing is to write. everything. down. Roald Dahl was describing his creative process and mentioned that people get ideas all the time, but they lose them because they don't write them down. It also helps you to clarify your thoughts and "make space" for new ideas.

    And, btw, I mostly work on what I like to call "mathematical philosophy", including socionics.
    I'm interested in these Sufi practices. Tell me more! I need to save money on mind altering substances.

    Writing everything down is good advice. I try to follow this rule. Sometimes I'll take a mostly empty roll of receipt paper at work and discreetly write ideas on or even whole passages on it throughout the day lol. I recently actually bought a tiny little notebook to carry around, but for some reason it's really fun to write on receipt paper. I write stuff down in a million different places. My phone, computer, notebooks, tiny scraps of paper etc. So I spend a lot of time organizing my notes and transferring from one place to another, including typing handwritten stuff.

    By brainstorming I mean more like actively attempting to generate ideas rather than just letting them come to you. Some people make charts or lists for example. I do this a lot but I also will write pages and pages of freeform junk, basically just talking to myself, asking myself questions and giving a bunch of possibilities for answers and finding problems and addressing them. It's sort of like I'm bouncing ideas off myself since I don't have another person to do it with. Sometimes I'll even go for a long walk and record myself brainstorming out loud. But I write fiction so I don't know how useful it would be for "mathematical philosophy".
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    Ambient noise I've gotten used to is fine, music is not, being inspired by something I've read or recently done help me make more creative connections, caffeine is always involved, talking helps to deepen understanding prior to creativity, but creativity in and of itself is way too fast and intricate for a conversation, my mood dictates the type of results I'll get (logical, artistic, weird, whatever), sometimes when I get an idea in public I walk around like a weirdo with a tape recorder speaking it into my phone

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    Quote Originally Posted by schwiftyrickty View Post
    I'm interested in these Sufi practices. Tell me more!
    Our main practices are the five daily prayers (common to all Muslims) and different litanies for remembering Allah, like "La ilaha illAllah" (There is no god but Allah).

    By brainstorming I mean more like actively attempting to generate ideas rather than just letting them come to you. Some people make charts or lists for example. I do this a lot but I also will write pages and pages of freeform junk, basically just talking to myself, asking myself questions and giving a bunch of possibilities for answers and finding problems and addressing them. It's sort of like I'm bouncing ideas off myself since I don't have another person to do it with. Sometimes I'll even go for a long walk and record myself brainstorming out loud. But I write fiction so I don't know how useful it would be for "mathematical philosophy".
    Yeah, writing down whatever comes to mind is good for this, and also looking back over past notes and comparing and contrasting them.

    "It's sort of like I'm bouncing ideas off myself"

    Exactly

    I've also used audio recording (especially when I'm on a long drive and can't write).
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    Usually I visualize what I want out of a project before starting. The time it takes to cook in the chamber depends on the complexity of the project, but the pieces tend to come together eventually. The way the pieces come together depends on the nature of the project. For instance, if I'm writing a paper, a general concept will come to mind and expand into supporting points, which I can usually fact source through the internet. If I'm drawing something, then I'll start with a general concept that will expand into an actual visual, depending on the practical demands of the medium.

    I enjoy brainstorming with other people; I'll just riff off of what others have to say to take an idea into a different direction until the idea develops into a concept everyone can get behind.

    At best, flow state occurs and I really don't have to think about whatever I'm working on - it just creates itself.

    I don't have a dedicated space. I tend to think best when I'm walking or driving. Music can help if it's ambient, classical, or something else not too jarring.
    "Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see." - Schopenhauer

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    Quote Originally Posted by thehotelambush View Post
    Our main practices are the five daily prayers (common to all Muslims) and different litanies for remembering Allah, like "La ilaha illAllah" (There is no god but Allah).



    Yeah, writing down whatever comes to mind is good for this, and also looking back over past notes and comparing and contrasting them.

    "It's sort of like I'm bouncing ideas off myself"

    Exactly

    I've also used audio recording (especially when I'm on a long drive and can't write).
    I need some strategies for entering a creative state without weed bad. I'm so poor. D: I've half-assedly attempted meditation. It's extremely difficult for me and I usually end up saying "This is stupid, what's the point?" about 15-25 seconds in lol. I think it would actually be super beneficial for me though.

    Do you ever just write paragraphs of conversation to yourself though? Mine literally is like: "Okay. So here's what we're going to do. Where were we? Here's the problem I'm dealing with right now. Is this _ or _blank? I suppose it could be _. Or perhaps _. Or maybe even _. No, that makes no fucking sense because then _ would _. Maybe I should go back to the beginning. I need to quit skipping around, what if something happens that changes the whole thing? But I'm not interested in that part right now. Focus focus. What am I aiming for here? I'm trying to _. How do I make that happen? How about _? Ooh, that's good, I like that. And then _ would be _ and blah blah blah" etc. I can go on for 5+ pages in one sitting. I'm basically trying to pull ideas out of myself. This sort of exercise puts me in a semi "right brained" state, but not as much as walking or doing something else mindless and meditative like that. Or that wacky tobacky.
    Last edited by schwiftyrickty; 10-19-2018 at 04:05 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ouronis View Post
    Ambient noise I've gotten used to is fine, music is not, being inspired by something I've read or recently done help me make more creative connections, caffeine is always involved, talking helps to deepen understanding prior to creativity, but creativity in and of itself is way too fast and intricate for a conversation, my mood dictates the type of results I'll get (logical, artistic, weird, whatever), sometimes when I get an idea in public I walk around like a weirdo with a tape recorder speaking it into my phone
    I feel so awkward talking to myself in public. I usually wear headphones and pretend I'm on the phone. If I walk near someone I'll legit start pretending I'm having a conversation with someone. It's actually kinda fun. A couple times I even pretended I was having a conversation with characters from stories I was writing. I felt pretty fruity doing so but it was interesting haha.
    9w1 7w6 2w3 so/sx

    Always open to suggestions on my typing, but I'm back at IEE for a while I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A Moderator View Post
    Usually I visualize what I want out of a project before starting. The time it takes to cook in the chamber depends on the complexity of the project, but the pieces tend to come together eventually. The way the pieces come together depends on the nature of the project. For instance, if I'm writing a paper, a general concept will come to mind and expand into supporting points, which I can usually fact source through the internet. If I'm drawing something, then I'll start with a general concept that will expand into an actual visual, depending on the practical demands of the medium.

    I enjoy brainstorming with other people; I'll just riff off of what others have to say to take an idea into a different direction until the idea develops into a concept everyone can get behind.

    At best, flow state occurs and I really don't have to think about whatever I'm working on - it just creates itself.

    I don't have a dedicated space. I tend to think best when I'm walking or driving. Music can help if it's ambient, classical, or something else not too jarring.
    That flow state is so hard to come by for me, especially with how loud my house has become lately. And someone always wants my attention. At work too. (I feel like the dude from Emperor's New Groove every time someone wants my attention and I'm trying to get into my zone. Motherfuckers keep throwing off my groove.) And I also find most music distracting, but anything instrumental is awesome. It can't have too many words because the words get all mixed up with my own thoughts. And I also think about a project for a long time before starting. In my case sometimes years. I have ideas I came up with when I was 17 that I still think might have some potential. I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Or I'll even say "Once I have some more life experience I can write this."

    I love to bounce ideas off actual other people. It's one of the most pleasurable activities available to me. (I rarely get to do it with my own projects because I don't really like talking specifics about what I'm doing.) My ILE coworker is the best at this. He said he mostly only likes me because I will go with what he is saying and build on it instead of basically nodding and dismissing the sometimes off the wall stuff he says like most of our coworkers do. I like him mostly because he is willing to talk about literally any topic, even if he knows nothing about it or it doesn't seem like something that would interest him. Otherwise I don't even think we like each other that much. Bit of a digression. Actually pretty much this whole comment is. haha

    What kind of things do you draw? And how do you "brainstorm" a drawing? This is hard for me to imagine since I can't think in pictures much at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schwiftyrickty View Post
    I need some strategies for entering a creative state without weed bad. I'm so poor. D: I've half-assedly attempted meditation. It's extremely difficult for me and I usually end up saying "This is stupid, what's the point?" about 15-25 seconds in lol. I think it would actually be super beneficial for me though.
    Looking inward is definitely beneficial -- if you can handle it.

    Do you ever just write paragraphs of conversation to yourself though? Mine literally is like: "Okay. So here's what we're going to do. Where were we? Here's the problem I'm dealing with right now. Is this _ or _blank? I suppose it could be _. Or perhaps _. Or maybe even _. No, that makes no fucking sense because then _ would _. Maybe I should go back to the beginning. I need to quit skipping around, what if something happens that changes the whole thing? But I'm not interested in that part right now. Focus focus. What am I aiming for here? I'm trying to _. How do I make that happen? How about _? Ooh, that's good, I like that. And then _ would be _ and blah blah blah" etc. I can go on for 5+ pages in one sitting. I'm basically trying to pull ideas out of myself. This sort of exercise puts me in a semi "right brained" state, but not as much as walking or doing something else mindless and meditative like that. Or that wacky tobacky.
    Umm sort of...I do write down questions etc., but I try to keep it to productive thoughts.
    Sometimes I'll go back and edit it if it gets too meandering, for the sake of future readability.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehotelambush View Post
    Looking inward is definitely beneficial -- if you can handle it.



    Umm sort of...I do write down questions etc., but I try to keep it to productive thoughts.
    Sometimes I'll go back and edit it if it gets too meandering, for the sake of future readability.
    Yeah the sort of thing I'm talking about I usually never even look at it again. If I try to limit myself to only productive lines of thinking, I instantly squash my creativity. I have to keep things open and judgment free. Again, probably very different for what you're doing.
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    @schwiftyrickty

    Do you have an office or some sort of dedicated space?

    I’m always in my room. I have a white wardrobe which I use for mind maps, planning or brainstorming (using a marker that is not waterproof). If I plan to keep the result I take a photo. Sometimes I stick transparent gift wrapping paper on my door (which is white, too) and write on it, glue colored paper and notes on it etc.
    I always have a notebook with me but I get most of my ideas at home when I’m alone. I also use Pinterest, Google Docs and Powerpoint - then I’m able to add pictures and make it look prettier than just notes - because I hate rereading my notes.

    If you write, do you mostly write by hand or type?
    I used to type a lot but it slows me down so I’m writing notes and drafts with a pencil on blank paper. That way I can use arrows and mind maps and colors quickly.

    Do you listen to music while you brainstorm?
    No, I can’t think when I’m listening to music.

    Ever use mind altering substances to enhance creativity or get into a certain state?
    no

    Do you talk about your work with others? Workshop? Bounce ideas off a friend or partner?
    No. People don’t care so I keep my ideas and project to myself. I can show pictures and drawings because it gives people something they can work with but once I try to explain (and then I can talk for like an hour or more) they get bored to death because I’m never telling the actual story in an engaging from but the concepts and structure that I want to use and from where I got my inspiration.

    Do you brainstorm on paper? How does that usually look?
    There will be a link at the end of the post.

    Do you have a strict routine or schedule for creative time?
    No. Creative time comes and goes whenever it wants. I have no control over it. It’s more like an eruption of details that somehow find their way into a coherent scene or chapter. Sometimes the entire story just magically falls into place and I have to write everything down as fast as I can before I forget everything. Moments like these are the best - but they happen rarely and the raw results occupy me for days and weeks. And honestly 40% or so turns out to be nonsense anyway but that's ok.

    Do you have any way of saving ideas when you're not at home?
    A small notebook.

    And anything else you can think of!
    I'm interested in general, but I of course am mostly interested in the differences in certain types, so any input you have about that is appreciated as well.
    And I'd also like to know what kinda stuff you like to write/draw/whatever if you want to talk about it

    <-edit->

    Last edited by Cosmic Teapot; 10-21-2018 at 05:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schwiftyrickty View Post
    That flow state is so hard to come by for me, especially with how loud my house has become lately. And someone always wants my attention. At work too. (I feel like the dude from Emperor's New Groove every time someone wants my attention and I'm trying to get into my zone. Motherfuckers keep throwing off my groove.) And I also find most music distracting, but anything instrumental is awesome. It can't have too many words because the words get all mixed up with my own thoughts. And I also think about a project for a long time before starting. In my case sometimes years. I have ideas I came up with when I was 17 that I still think might have some potential. I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Or I'll even say "Once I have some more life experience I can write this."

    I love to bounce ideas off actual other people. It's one of the most pleasurable activities available to me. (I rarely get to do it with my own projects because I don't really like talking specifics about what I'm doing.) My ILE coworker is the best at this. He said he mostly only likes me because I will go with what he is saying and build on it instead of basically nodding and dismissing the sometimes off the wall stuff he says like most of our coworkers do. I like him mostly because he is willing to talk about literally any topic, even if he knows nothing about it or it doesn't seem like something that would interest him. Otherwise I don't even think we like each other that much. Bit of a digression. Actually pretty much this whole comment is. haha

    What kind of things do you draw? And how do you "brainstorm" a drawing? This is hard for me to imagine since I can't think in pictures much at all.
    I used to draw a lot. Mostly animals and fantasy / sci fi things. For the past couple years, my creative energy has been on security oriented matters.

    Here's an example of something I drew years ago.





    How do I brainstorm a drawing? Just think of something general, then chisel it out with your mind. Think about object placement, momentum, where the viewer's eye will be drawn, angles to capture a "scene", etc.

    I'm surprised that I type as ILE and you type as IEE, but you don't think much in terms of pictures. My imagination works entirely through moving pictures, like a movie theater. How do we explain this difference? Is one of us mistyped? Is visual imagination a different cognitive activity than intuitive notions of potential?
    "Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see." - Schopenhauer

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    I spend a lot of time reflecting on life and on what I want. I have my own “style” that I refine and that I can pull from whenever I need it. I get into the flow with music that enhances my thinking and mood. Sometimes I take walks to stretch my legs or do new things, explore new places. If I come across a new idea I look into it and try keeping my mind sharp. Try to see what different new things I can incorporate. Pressure or some incentive also helps get things going for me.

    I take notes on my phone. I also use Pinterest, and take photos and save screenshots of things that inspire me. Sleep deprivation and altered mindstates can help for me too.

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    @sbbds do you relate to having a "movie theater" kind of imagination?
    "Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see." - Schopenhauer

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    Quote Originally Posted by A Moderator View Post
    @sbbds do you relate to having a "movie theater" kind of imagination?
    Yeah but I would say my imagination isn’t as strong as my ILE bf’s. His is like a director’s imagination basically with really clear, creative entertaining scenes. Mine are more regular life-like lol. Though I sometimes visualize very distant or abstract things too. Overall I do think in a visual movie-like way though.

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    Posting ideas on forums is about the extent of my creativity.

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    I'll listen to music or try to get myself into a more stimulating environment. I've taken up practicing drawing recently and while I do try to work consistently, often I usually work in big inconsistent bursts of inspiration. I'll get a big idea for a story and have to write it down, or just a compulsion to draw one specific thing... and then I'll get burnt out and bored of that thing and try something else.

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    Maybe this can help - I'm a freelance illustrator

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    Quote Originally Posted by schwiftyrickty View Post
    I'm especially interested in the brainstorming and organization, habits, etc., of writers, but whatever kind of creative stuff you're interested in, please describe (in great detail if you're so inclined) your process.

    For example:

    Do you have an office or some sort of dedicated space?

    If you write, do you mostly write by hand or type?

    Do you listen to music while you brainstorm?

    Ever use mind altering substances to enhance creativity or get into a certain state?

    Do you talk about your work with others? Workshop? Bounce ideas off a friend or partner?

    Do you brainstorm on paper? How does that usually look?

    Do you have a strict routine or schedule for creative time?

    Do you have any way of saving ideas when you're not at home?

    And anything else you can think of!

    I'm interested in general, but I of course am mostly interested in the differences in certain types, so any input you have about that is appreciated as well.

    And I'd also like to know what kinda stuff you like to write/draw/whatever if you want to talk about it
    I do freelance creative work now. Things like choosing graphics and music for other people's videos and some other design work. I have a dedicated space with inspiring things around me. It's called my bedroom. I clean before I get started because if things are messy my ideas are messy too.

    I have had to learn discipline but the thing with me is I don't begin until I am ready to do it so nothing too strict. I do well with deadlines only because they give me a specific time frame so I can't procrastinate. They kind of energize me if there is more at stake than being creative for its own sake. Even with deadlines I tend to wait until the last minute to begin because I cannot force it. I can only set the mood for it.

    I type and write by hand if I can't find a device in the moment. Then type it out later. I write down some ideas as they come because if I don't it will be lost. If they are lost because I can't write them down then they weren't meant to be. I don't stress about them. I use an app to make a note of them when I am out.

    I listen to music sometimes beforehand waiting for the inspiration to hit me but if I have to be precise I turn off anything distracting. I can use some theta waves binaural beats throughout. I don't actually brainstorm. I empty my mind of distracting thoughts so that I can be focused and clear. It is like a self induced trance state that I learned. Interruptions ruin my flow. I let people know not to bother me when possible.

    At times I feel like it isn't even me during the process. When I am done I can sometimes evaluate it from the perspective that someone else did it so I can be more objective. It still amazes me when someone praises me for creative work since I don't see myself as particularly talented or the result that impressive.

    I don't usually bounce ideas off other people since people come to me to do the work. I will give them a choice between things if I am in doubt myself just to see what they prefer since it is for them. I am usually told to pick what I prefer so I don't bother asking too much.

    I have used substances in the past but not to enhance creativity specifically. They often distort my creativity so I can't focus. If it is a work thing I can't risk getting lost in a labyrinth of unrelated thoughts. Weed makes me paranoid.

    "When I ought to be thinking of heaven he will nail me to earth"

     




  21. #21

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    I devote my time to a great many creative pursuits. I program, compose music, paint, and write fiction. My process in one of those areas differs from my process in the others. When painting, I half improvise and half try to capture what I perceive in my mind--always a futile endeavor. When composing music, I mostly proceed through trial and error, since I've never developed the ability to capture what I hear in my head. When programming, I take some problem that a computer can solve and imagine, little by little, how to solve it with one, writing down my solution as it comes. And when writing fiction, I start out with a collection of people, settings, and events that have sprung up in my imagination and seem to belong with each other. I then go to work solving the mystery of how they fit together, using a text document in which I conduct a dialogue with myself about the story, asking myself questions and attempting to answer them. When I have a solid enough conception of the story, I start writing it, using the information I've compiled. Because I find the actual writing of the story tedious, thanks to my having already imagined all of the details in advance, I find myself wondering if I should improvise my stories instead. But you can never come up with a really clever plot without thinking the story out in advance--or can you? I've never really tried.

  22. #22
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    If I'm every trying to be creative, I inevitably let my mind go - essentially a stream of consciousness. I find my best writing and ideas come from when I can let my mind synthesize whatever it pleases and abstract an idea into some representative image. Then, the images get synthesized and insight occurs. I think I'll take a stab at writing fiction. I don't really have the technical ability for art. It'll also force me to expand my vocabulary and give me something non-analytical to do.
    ----- FarDraft, 2019 | ILI 5w6 538 sp/sx

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