Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One Small Word

Creativity within constraints. My favorite way to work.

A surefire way to topple me into insta-panic is to say, "Here! A blank page! Put something creative on it, why don'tcha?" Not that people come around saying that to me. That would be weird.

To sit in front of a monitor and try to write something, anything, is just too hard. But if you know you need to write something which involves a papaya, a banjo, and a twelve-year old evangelist, something's gonna cook on that page, and you'll hardly have to try.

The same thing happens everywhere. If you go to the grocery store in order to make something for dinner with nothing in mind, you leave and head to Taco Bell, overwhelmed by the choices. (What? You don't? Oh.) But if you constrain yourself to the ingredients in your pantry and fridge, unless you only have tonic and dying limes, some awesome meals happen. (Or Taco Bell happens. As Taco Bell does.)

(If I may go slightly meta for a moment, that's one of the things I love about our blog set-up. At my own blog, I often try to Write A Post, with nothing in my head but the desire for more coffee. Here, we get a word. This week, it's Creativity. I can work with a word. It's just one small English word out of all the words in the world. That's a great constraint.)

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