(This is a worksheet produced by Susan Lieberman and crew at Rice University in Spring of 2005. I dusted it off when thinking of ways to help a friend overcome writer’s block. I’ve reproduced it here exactly as it was written, for the sake of honoring the shoulders of the giants upon which I stand,
posterity and context.)
Each week, we invite you to attend to (at least) one of the following items and reflect on it briefly in your Creativity Workbook—what you did and, if you like, how it felt.
A caution: It is in the nature of being a busy student to ignore the least difficult tasks in favor of those which get graded. The items listed below are not intended to help you master a body of knowledge, but rather to let you expand and deepen your own creative capacities. Think of these as steps towards a more creative way of life. If you miss the opportunity to think about these experiences and attend to them with some thought, you cheat yourself. Allow yourself the time to grow for YOU, not for our requirements.
- Read something you don’t normally read: the morning NY Times, a magazine, an art book, a feminist essay, a sports section, a poem… Tell us what you read and what you thought.
- Eat food you don’t normally eat. What did you eat? What did you think?
- Wear something in public that you don’t usually wear. Describe.
- Exhibit a behavior you don’t usually exhibit. Describe.
- Invite someone to coffe that you don’t know and that you think is weird/odd/unusual/creative/interesting/perplexing/or ust way differnt… Tell us about this experience.
- Ask someone who does work or play you don’t “get” to, to spend some time talking to you about how it feels for them what they like and what is interesting about it.
- Take a walk outside. Think about how glorious nature is.
- Surprise someone in some way. Describe.
- Find something that surprises you. Tell us about it.
- Spend at least 15 minutes doing something you love to do that you don’t make time for on a regular basis. Tell us about it.
- Tell us about one thing you did well this week.
- Think of one thing you are really looking forward to. Think about that for a few minutes and tell us about it.
- Think of one thing that is stressing you at the moment. Deconstruct it. Think about what the stress really is and how it could be turned upside down. Explain.
- Identify something about which you are truly curious. Tell us about it.
- Think of something you spend time on regularly that, in fact, when you about it seems like a complete waste. Give it up for the week and think about how it feels—good or bad.
- Spend 15 minutes trying on a meditative state, when you do not hold on to any conscious thought but, instead, focus on your breathing and letting your mind drift free.
- Make a list of everything for which you feel gratitude.
- Anything else that stretches you in a new direction.