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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Want to be More Creative? Relive, Reinvent & Really Blow It - Guest Post from Andee Weinfurt

This week's guest post is from Andee Weinfurt, who has one of my favorite Twitter names - HotCupofCopy - reflecting her dual interests in writing and hot caffeine. Andee lives in Weston, MO and is a copywriter for GlynnDevins Advertising & Marketing.

She admittedly relishes the weird / embarrassing / bad moments of life because they lead to great ideas and ultimately, greater creativity. Today, she shares her approach for how to get from crushing to creative!

While I’m always searching for innovative ideas to capture my creativity, my philosophy has never changed: The worse the situation, the greater the potential to create something from it.

Truth be told, my most embarrassing, unpleasant and downright disappointing moments in life have always been the stepping stones for my most creative endeavors. Many of you reading this, I’m sure, can relate. (If not, watch a John Hughes movie or listen to a grunge album from the 90’s.)

Case in point: when I was fired from my first job at sixteen, there initially seemed to be little worth remembering about the experience. Especially since I had to literally melt my tears before I could dry them (I was given the news in the kitchen freezer, to maximize privacy and apparently my humiliation). But everything that made that experience so utterly awful is also what made it a creative diamond in the rough: I wrote about it and years later turned in that essay to a potential employer as part of the interview process for a copywriter position. While I did get the job, it probably doesn’t speak so much to the piece itself as it does to the idea of using it.

Ever since, I’ve been using this go-to guide for capturing creativity, regardless of the ultimate goal:

  1. Relive: Draw upon a bad experience. An embarrassing moment, an unfair outcome, anything is fair game. These experiences make us who we are, and who we are is unique (the most important criteria of creativity).
  2. Reinvent: Take something from the bad experience, and turn it around to work for you. The irony, the humor, the timing — there’s bound to be something you can apply to the challenge at hand.
  3. Really Blow It: Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. This will inevitably lead to falling flat on your face — and when it does, embrace the moment wholeheartedly. Then you can start the process all over again!

Sometimes the most innovative idea is realizing the value of an old one.

And making lemonade out of lemons? It still works. - Andee Weinfurt

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