2. Everyone knows how to do something, whether it’s making a great spaghetti sauce, growing herbs, or creating an awesome PowerPoint presentation. Create a how-to of your skill and post it on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, hang it up on your supermarket’s bulletin board.
3. Draw simple pictures on napkins and put them in your children’s lunch bags. Here’s a Flickr stream of napkins drawn by a father for his daughters’ lunch bags over a five year period: “The Napkin Drawings”. You can also try sandwich art.
4. Purchase something–it doesn’t have to be expensive–as a symbol for your need to create: it can be a sketchbook, a coffee cup with an Impressionist painting stamped on it, a journal with a great cover, a poster of a Picasso painting, and so on.
5. The great Katherine Hepburn was once on a list of actors considered to be “box office poison”. She acquired the film rights to “The Philadelphia Story”, gave herself the lead female role, and staged her comeback. The film was a big hit. Have things been going awry for you lately? Start planning your comeback.
6. Memorize your favorite poem. Mine is “Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines” by Pablo Neruda (and yes, I have it memorized).
7. In his 1942 story “Runaround,” Isaac Asimov offered his now-famous Three Laws of Robotics:
- First Law: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm;
- Second Law: A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law; and
- Third Law: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Come up with your own three laws of robotics (or five, or ten).
8. Host a marathon of movies written and produced by the Coen brothers. Here are three of them:
- “Burn After Reading”
- “Raising Arizona”
9. Follow Benjamin Franklin’s advice: take out a book by your favorite author and copy an entire chapter by hand so that you get a feel for the flow and composition of great writing.
10. Create fan fiction based on your favorite book. As an example, there’s a whole cottage industry based on adaptations of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” (including one in which Mr. Darcy is a werewolf , and another one in which he’s a vampire).
11. Homer began”The Odyssey” with an incantation to the muse:
”Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
driven time and again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy”
Create your own incantation to the muse.
12.Write a cinquain, which is a five-line poem. Here are the rules:
- First line: One word which tells you what the cinquain is about (the title).
- Second line: Two adjectives which describe the word in the first line.
- Third line: Three action verbs that relate to the word in the first line.
- Fourth line: Four words that indicates a feeling related to the word in the first line.
- Fifth line: One word; a synonym of the word in the first line, or something that wraps it up.
Here’s an example:
Falling, Raking, Celebrating
Enjoying a lovely day
13. Read someone’s palm (make it up as you go along). Alternatively you could use Tarot cards or Runes.
14. Go to a playground and hang upside down from the monkey bars.
15. Make a sock puppet. Pretend it’s your alter ego.
16. Make a recording of your loved ones’ laughter.
17. Make up a knock-knock joke. Tell it to your friends and see if anyone laughs.
18. In the last Miss Universe pageant, Miss Venezuela was asked, “If you could pass a new law, what would it be?” I didn’t watch the show, but apparently she gave a really awkward answer. What would your answer have been?
19. Write a letter to the President of your country explaining in detail how you would solve one of the country’s biggest problems.
20. Set a beautiful table and photograph it.
21. Write your Creativity Manifesto. Tape it to the wall where you can see it.
22. Make a list of the ten things you most enjoyed doing as a child. Do at least two activities from the list.
23. Learn the lyrics to a song you love. Sing it in the shower.
24. Leave a dollar somewhere in public for someone else to find. Sit somewhere out of sight and watch to see who finds it. (I found $25 on the ground on Sunday; finding money is one of the greatest feelings in the world.)
25. Buy a goldfish and name it after your favorite composer.
26. Create a flow chart of your morning routine.
27. Come up with a comic strip loosely based on your family members.
28. Have you ever had an Elvis sandwich? It’s made of peanut butter, bananas, and bacon, and it’s named after Elvis Presley because he loved to eat them. Invent a sandwich with your favorite ingredients. Name it after yourself.
29. Learn a magic trick.
30. Get yourself a latch hook kit . You get a canvas with a shape on it, a latch hook, and the pre-cut yarn in all the colors that you’ll need. I love these because they make me feel crafty, even though I’m not. And for the men who think that crafts are only for women, know this: Ryan Gosling knits.
31. Come up with a great title for the novel you’ll write someday. Tom Robbins has great names for his novels:
- “Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas”
- “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues”
- “Skinny Legs and All”
- “Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates”
32. Learn to make Pierogi.
33. Solve the mystic square — also called the 15 puzzle or the 15 sliding puzzle (I solved it; you can do it too).
34. Come up with 100 uses for paper rolls. Here’s one: cover a toilet paper roll in peanut butter, roll it through bird seeds, and put it up on a tree branch to attract birds.
35. Learn to do the Hula Hoop.
36. Create a scavenger hunt for a kids’ party.
37. Take a photograph of the same scene at different hours of the day (Monet-style).
38. Learn to hold a steady beat on a drum.
39. I love A to Z projects. Seth Godin–the marketing guru–has a new book out titled “V is for Vulnerable”. It’s an A to Z on how to be more creative. Here are three examples:
- A – Anxiety is experiencing failure in advance . . . Worry is not preparation, and anxiety doesn’t make you better.
- B- Birl that log . . . commit to feet in motion until you’re birling.
- C – Commitment is the only thing that gets you through the chasm.
Come up with your own A to Z project.
40. Ride a carousel or a Ferris Wheel.
Here are 6000 fun ideas.