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Read essays, articles, or books on creativity and
you will more than once you will read that you can heighten your creativity and
create new ideas by reading magazines that you wouldn't typically read. The
suggestion is to go to your local newsstand and pick up magazines you wouldn't
ever read and read them for ideas, connections and trends.
This is an often repeated example of using outside stimulus as a way to
jumpstart our creativity.
I have read this suggestion many times. I've suggested it myself. I've even
done it a few times. But I've never seen anyone show someone an example of
Earlier this week I found the April edition of Wired Magazine in my briefcase
as I traveled. I had picked it up a couple of weeks before in an airport
because I was drawn to the cover, which suggested that the main focus of the
issue was "The New World of Games."
While I am not a current subscriber to Wired Magazine (used to be) and you
might not be either, I think you will find both the process and my results
enlightening and fun.
Reading a magazine for creative insights is pretty easy. Get a magazine, a
highlighter, and perhaps some paper or your Journal. Then begin reading. Don't
skim or read only the things that are immediately or naturally interesting to
you. Read everything. Read the articles AND the ads. And while you are reading,
be asking yourself things like…
What does this remind me of?
How does this relate to my situation, problem or challenge?
What did they do that I can do?
How could I use this?
How can I learn from the experiences or suggestions in the article (or ad)?
These certainly aren't the only questions you can ask, but they are enough to get
you started. You can go into this creative journey with a very specific
challenge or problem in mind, or you can just do it to see what serendipitous
ideas you generate – either way is fine!
In this case, my journey was a random one – I wasn't thinking about a specific
issue or challenge, I was just reading to see what I might find.
How to Read the Rest of This Article
The rest of this article will provide some of my ideas and what spurred them. I
encourage you to read on observing my process and seeing what ideas or insights
you get from my insights. In other words, I encourage you to use the process I
just described on the rest of this article!
You may also decide to go to the library and get the April 2006 Wired Magazine
to see all of what I am describing.
Rather than continue in this article, I encourage you to read more on my blog,
as I will be sharing more of these snippets there.
I hope that riding along on my journey has been interesting, and I hope that
you got an insight or two through my examples above. More than that though, I
hope that I have convinced you to pick up a magazine you've never read before,
and try this process for yourself. If you do, I promise you will learn
something, and you may solve a vexing problem or identify an amazing
opportunity along the way.