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Journaling for Creativity.

My (thing) is special because

This post forms part of a serialisation eventually building into a complete reference on Journaling for Creativity 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.

Introduction Contents Techniques About Method Games for Creative Development My (Thing) is Special Because


Journaling for Creativity: Mind training games: My (thing) is special The game

This week’s game is an amusing little journaling for creativity game that can be surprisingly powerful in its ability to provide insights into things that would elude you when considering them in a normal manner.

It is also a fun little game and if you are competitive then it can be compulsive if played against another writer/artist.

All you have to do is define what the “thing” is and say why “My (thing) is special”. That’s all there is to it.


How to play

Think of an object and write its name in your journal, then find reasons why that item is special. Write the reasons down as you think of them and keep going until you’ve exhausted your imagination.

 The reasons don't have to be factual, or even rational. In fact the more off-the-wall they are the more fun the exercise can be and the more you can get from playing the game.

For example;

A ball point pen.

My ball point is special because it has blue blood.

My ball point is special because the clear plastic makes rainbow light from sun light.

My ball point is special because it survived going through a washing machine.

My ball point is special because the ink stays wet until it is on the paper.

My ball point is special because it joins my mind to the page.

My ball point is special because it flicks spiders out of the window.

My ball point is special because it can double as a blow gun.

My ball point is special because it runs without needing batteries.

My ball point is special because it never needs sharpening.

My ball point is special because it can write faster than I can move my hand.


Try setting a target so that you don’t stop too soon and never stop once the first flush of ideas dry up. Push on until your mind gets its “second wind”, when new and more diverse ideas begin to arise from the depths. A target of ten ideas is a good place to start, but if you find this too easy keep increasing the number of ideas required, until the game becomes a challenge.

This game can also be played with friends. Players take it in turn until they run out of ideas, the last person to run out of ideas being the winner (the first to run out buys the drinks).


Try this exercise on items surrounding the characters in your project. See if you can add vibrancy to these objects by looking at them in the way that this game teaches.


The purpose of the game

This is another creativity stretching game that requires the logical-mind to seek assistance from the creative-mind. The requirement to push forward and continue attempting to imagine new ideas after the initial flow of logical ideas dwindles, provides the need for the two minds to communicate. From that point, the creative-mind starts to provide further possible associations for the object, and the longer you push, the harder it has to work, the more the two minds have to communicate and the more mental stretching you will get from the game.

It also helps you look at objects in a quirky and positive way, which can be very useful when seeking to write something in an original way.



Got five minutes to spare?

Try your hand at this game. Find ten reasons why one of the following is special;

Can opener
Park bench

Ten reasons, five minutes, ready, steady, go!

And don’t forget to let us know how you got on in the comments area below.

Photo credit: Pen mightier close, by Jack Malvern.

"My (thing) is special because" by Andy Shackcloth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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