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Ten Ways to Build a Brilliant Brain – 8

No 8 of TEN WAYS TO BUILD A BRILLIANT BRAIN. Have you entered the competition to win one of five free signed copies?

For previous posts in this series:

  1. Grow Brain Connections
  2. Fuel Your Brain
  3. Be Active (NOT “DO Exercise”)
  4. Sleep Well
  5. Make Friends
  6. Bounce Back
  7. Be Curious

Today’s way is Be Creative. Humans are born to be creative. My two-year-old grandson pretends that one thing is another, sees similarities in quite different items, sees shapes where they are not intended, picks up a bag and says “I’m going to nursery – bye”, and finds ways to express himself – “My face is loud” after going to his first party. Then we get to school and gradually we start to doubt or be dissatisfied with our ability to be creative. We measure ourselves against the creations of others or against our intentions. We often decide we can’t do it. And when we think we can’t do something, we tend not to try any more.

Adults who call themselves creative are usually creative for work. I’m a writer. You’re a designer. She’s a singer/song-writer. But creativity should first be play. And it should continue being play. People who are creative for work also love to explore creativity for play.

Creativity is very serious indeed. Without it, we would have no aeroplanes, beautiful gardens, clever buildings, any of our life-changing machines, medicines, cookery and food design, not to mention theatre, dance, cinema, books, music or visual arts.

But it starts with play. We need to be serious about play when it comes to creativity. We need to make mistakes and not mind. We need to throw ourselves into the process.

My recipe for brain bars

Although it starts with play, it goes nowhere without thought. We need time to think, to design in our minds, to work out what we’re aiming for, what we like and don’t like, what might work, what’s worth trying.

A creative person builds an idea in their mind and then works out how to make it real. I consciously do this all the time, not only with my writing but with all the other ideas that buzz about in my brain. I do it with recipes that I create, plans for my garden, social gatherings I might be planning, entrepreneurial ideas I have, some of which need to be thought through before being thrown out.

Currently, my mind is turning over some ideas for a brain-boosting gift package I want to create for your teenagers. The idea is that there’d be one of my books, with a personal message, some postcards with inspirational and reassuring thoughts, and some home-made relaxing/energising balm from herbs in my garden. I’m trying to work out how to make this a reality. I don’t know if I will but it is fun playing with the ideas!

Today’s tip for unleashing your creative brain

I have two ideas. Choose one – or both.

  1. What do you enjoy and feel some confidence in? Cooking, gardening, drawing, dancing, writing, inventing, designing, business? Imagine you are going to be given an amazing chance to showcase your creativity in a few weeks’ time. Perhaps you’re going to be on Bake-off or to read your poem on TV or your artwork is going to appear in a gallery or your clothes design is going to be created by your favourite designer or your igtv clip is going to be shared by one of your heroes. What would you create, if you had time and resources? No limits! Over this week, each day give yourself some time to think freely about it. You don’t have to put it into action: you’re exercising your creative brain even if you do nothing about it. But you must give yourself the time to think, to dream, to play in your mind. No phone, no screen, just your thoughts and dreams.

And, of course, if you want to put it into action, GO FOR IT!

2. On a piece of A5 or A4 paper, place your non-writing hand and draw round it. Then take your time to decorate the hand however you like but in a way that expresses yourself – or just one thing about yourself, or your feelings today. You can use some words but mostly it should be images, shapes, lines and colours. Focus on your emotions about yourself or your desires. Let your feelings burst through.


* * * BOOK GIVEAWAY * * *

For a chance of winning one of FIVE free signed copies of Ten Ways to Build a Brilliant Brain, add your comment beneath at least TWO of the numbered Ten Ways posts. Today is number eight. Details/rules here.

Look out for TEN WAYS in your local bookshop. And if you don’t see it there, ask! Bookshops will always order for you and it doesn’t cost extra. You can pre-order from Bookshop-org from my own page and if you do, you help independent bookshops AND me. Thank you!

2 Responses

  1. Curiosity is a great thing. My grandad said I should have been called “But Why?” When I was little because everytime he explained something that was always my answer. I will definitely use the hand drawing activity with the young people at work.

  2. It was so easy to indulge my children in creative ways when they were younger. Now, it seems like everything is ‘long’. Hopefully will convince them to get in touch with some creativity again. Thanks for these tips.

Do comment but please remember that this site is for all ages.

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