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Unlock Your Creativity

Posted on July 25, 2000

by Michael Southon

The Internet is a highly creative place. Every day people are launching new business solutions, writing new software, creating new scripts that do things we couldn't imagine just a few months ago. And in the publishing world, a quiet revolution is taking place. People who never dreamt of being authors are writing and publishing their own eBooks.

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A key to succeeding on the Internet is your ability to come up with new ideas. But where do creative people get their ideas?

One day in the mid-1970's a young man stumbled into a diner somewhere in the United Sates. Slung over his shoulder was a kit-bag that contained everything he owned. He was unshaven and needed a shower badly. He had very little money, but enough for a phone call.

He rang his bank and asked how much was in his account. A woman's voice informed him, to his amazement, that the balance in his account was four million, three hundred thousand dollars. His name was Richard Bach. Six months before, he had submitted a short story, barely 10,000 words long, to a New York publisher. For the last three months he had been living the life of a nomadic 'barnstormer', sleeping in fields under the wing of his bi-plane. He had been completely unaware that his manuscript, titled 'Jonathon Livingstone Seagull', had become a run-away best-seller.

Years later, Richard Bach talked about how he got ideas for his writing. He referred to what he called his 'Idea Fairies', silent intimations that came to him and whispered in his ear.

To capture those ideas you have to be very alert, because they're often barely audible. They'll come to you unexpectedly, early in the morning, when you're in the shower, or late at night as you're drifting off to sleep. Or they may come to you after meditation.

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Meditation is an excellent way of tapping into your creativity. Why? Because in meditation you go beneath the surface level of thought, where most of us spend most of our time. In meditation you dive down into a much deeper current, a subterranean stream of creativity that runs through all of us.

As well as being alert and keeping an open mind, another key way to get new ideas is to read.

Ideas are living things, and like any other living thing, they meet and fertilize each other. When you read an article or a book, your ideas are coming into contact with someone else's, and something new is born. Indeed, that's the very reason the Internet is so creative; millions of minds are coming into direct contact in a way that has never before been possible in human history.

This process of cross-fertilization happens spontaneously and beneath the level of conscious thought. Suddenly you'll have a new idea and you won't even know where it came from. So when you're feeling stuck or feeling that you've run out of ideas, read, read, and read some more.

Michael Southon is the publisher of 'The Free Directory of Ezines' - complete details for over 1000 Ezines

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