a whack on the side of the head

June 19, 2008

As I mentioned (or threatened) earlier, here is the second part of our tour stop for the Post2Post virtual book tour. I’d like to share with you some of my experience as I read A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative.

Whack is an easy read, but don’t let that fool you. It is trite, but true…you will only get as much out of this book as you put into it. While it can be read straight through, I’d also suggest keeping it handy as a, well, whack on the head. Sprinkled throughout the book are creative exercises and quizzes to shake up your thought patterns. Similar to OneWord, these exercises can help get your brain going.

It was in the last section that I found some ideas that have stuck with me the most. Von Oech describes the four roles one moves through in the creative process:

  • Explorer – searching for the raw material of new ideas in places that are “off the beaten path”
  • Artist – begin to give some kind of shape to how the new ideas are forming
  • Judge – evaluate the idea and determine if it is worth putting further work into
  • Warrior – implementation, take the ideas that are worth pursuing and bring them to life

It is helpful for me to see these roles and be conscious of them as I am in the midst of various projects. I tend to enjoy the Explorer and Artist stage, but start to fade as I move on into Judge and Warrior. (And something tells me I’m not the only one.) I’m trying to think of some ideas about how I work these four roles into my workflow to help me push through creative ideas. Of course, that idea is stuck at the Artist stage.

The other tour stops this week have had some excellent insights on the book. I’d encourage you to visit them as well:
Monday – Get Fresh Minds
Tuesday – Catch Your Limit
Yesterday – The Entrepreneurial Experience. Candid. Daily.
Tomorrow – Good Morning Thinkers!

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