This post forms part of a serialisation eventually building into a complete reference on Creative Journaling and the writer's notebook. One that will demonstrate how to journal in order to improve creativity and effectiveness of artists, writers or anyone needing to be creative.
This game is an exercise in finding constructive arguments without a logical or quantitative foundation to draw on.
How to play
Write a conversation in your creative journal between two people who are discussing something they are both extremely passionate about, but at this time are diametrically opposed in their opinions over some point.
Pick qualitative subjects for your ‘conversations’ to keep 'logical' comparisons away from the discussion, for example, “which of two blooms is superior at a flower show”. Be the Devil’s advocate for both parties and don't favour either side more than the other. Continue until you feel you have exhausted your possible ‘soft’ arguments (ones not backed up by hard facts).
Review your entry and look for places where quantitative arguments have sneaked in. Think about how that happened.
Next, write the same conversation in a different tone; if the first was angry make the next one calm, if one character was defensive put him on the offensive. Play with washing your conversations in different colours of emotion and see where they lead.
Sometimes, after playing with different emotions, it is worth going back to the first conversation, you may be surprised how many additional soft arguments have arrived.
Finally, review your entries and journal about what your feelings are about the exercise and any surprises you discovered.
The purpose of the game
This game requires for both sides of the brain to work together. The logical-mind wants to deal with facts and exacts comparisons; it is uncomfortable with soft arguments since there is no way of proving one better than the other. In contrast, the creative-mind has no problems with equating soft arguments against one another. However, for there to be a discussion, the logical-mind has to be involved with the delivery of the ‘soft facts’ and the creative-mind has to supply the rationalisations to support them.
On review of the different conversations, you will probably see points where the logical or creative part of your mind tries to wrestle more control over the situation.
A conversation that moves towards anger and belligerence indicates a logical-mind moving the discussion away from the soft core issue that is being discussed, whilst a tendency for the arguments to move towards the ethereal or absurd indicates an unbound creative-mind exploring diverse associations. Look over your entries and see if there are other indicators in your work that show the co-operation between your two minds slipping away from balance.
Photo credit: Silencio, by Ana Cotta.
"Mind training games: Passion and the Devil’s advocate’s" by Andy Shackcloth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.