radio-hed-logo1By Jeffrey Hedquist

Creativity. It’s like a muscle. You can increase its strength and flexibility by alternating activity and rest. Those of us who create advertising, especially radio advertising, are often asked to be instantly creative. Like an athlete who may be called upon to perform extraordinarily, with very little notice, keeping that muscle in shape is your best preparation.

Here’s a regimen that has worked for me and for many others engaged in the business of creating. Every day, spend a few minutes writing. This writing can take the form of a journal, a diary, a series of observations, comments, poetry, songs, plays, a novel, letters to yourself, people you know, or to an imaginary someone. The key here is to get used to the practice of writing daily.

One of the best descriptions of this technique is from Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, Shambhala Publications, Inc. Simple rules. Dramatic results. Here it is:

1. Keep your hand moving. (Don’t pause to reread the line you have just written. That’s stalling and trying to get control of what you’re saying.)

2. Don’t cross out. (That is editing as you write. Even if you write something you didn’t mean to write, leave it.)

3. Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar. (Don’t even care about staying within the margins and lines on the page.)

4. Lose control.

5. Go for the jugular. (If something comes up in your writing that is scary or naked, dive right into it. It probably has lots of energy.)

This is a great starting point. I just started rereading the book after a long absence. Wow. My advice: buy it, read it, use it. More next time.

© 2002 Hedquist Productions, Inc.

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