A New Combination Of Elements

British Museum. Copyright 2009: Knut Skjærven.

Combination of Elements. Copyright 2009: Knut Skjærven.

Let’s continue the theme on Creatics.

Remember the word I introduced a couple of posts ago as a combination of the words creativity and tactics? Reclaiming that word for barebones? That word was Creatics. If you don’t remember, then you can read the post here.

I have to tell you, once again,  how enthusiastic I am about the little book I found a couple of weeks ago. Written by James Webb Young and titled  A Technique for Producing Ideas.  There are plenty of other good books written about creative techniques, but part of my enthusiasm is that this book is printed with large type, and also only have 48 pages in it. It is read in one go.

The theme Creatics will be yet another theme on barebones communication. I will treat this theme the same way I have done with other themes: First I will draft a skeleton of mere bones, and then fill in the flesh with posts later on.

James Webb Young says many thinks in his little book. Here are the basics:

Two General Principles:

The first general principle is “that an idea is nothing more nor less than a new combinations of old elements.”

The second general principle is “that  the capacity to bring old elements into new combinations depends largely on the ability to see relationships.”

These principles will need to hang in here without further comment for a while, since I will later treat even those in separate posts. However, it is a good time for you to do some self inspection already now: how good are you to combine elements, and how good are you to see relationships.

It will not be enough simple to state to yourself that you are good or both things, or maybe only one of them. You should glance over your shoulder and take a hard look to see if you really have a positive track record here. If not, you might have a problem with creativity in general, and you will, most likely, have a hard time following the steps in the creative method below.

I say this because most people have a self impressions that they are, indeed, very creative. On closer inspection, very few people are. A good place to start, for both parties, is by looking over the shoulder for evidence of that positive creative track.

Webb Young’s Five Step Method:

Webb structures his method for getting good idea in 5 steps.

1: The First Step “is for the mind to gather its raw material.”

1.1: Specific Material

1.2: General Material.

2: The Second Step “…is the process of masticating these materials, as you would food that you are preparing for digestion.”

3: The Third Step: “You drop the whole project and put the problem out of your mind as completely as you can.”

4: The Forth Step: “Out of nowhere the idea will appear.”

5: The Fifth Step: “… might be called he cold grey dawn of the morning after.”

For the moment I deliberately leave it here. When future posts are written, they will all be linked to this “master” post.

If you feel enthusiastic about what Webb Young has to say, why don’t start reading up on him alongside me? Please remember, as Webb Young indicates, enthusiasm is part of the creative ore. So, if you lack enthusiasm, well draw you own conclusion …

Please note that this structure for producing ideas is universal. It works for whatever branch you are in: Business, science, communication, advertising, photography, arts, and of course for the wide range of tasks and occupations outside the professional areas. So don’t get depressed if don’t have a university degree (yet), or don’t have a fancy title linked to your name.

By the way, you may want to know what Webb Young calls “speculator” and “rentier”, as two different personality types. I leave it to you to look it up on the internet. I’ll give you a clue: go google “Vilfredo Pareto”. Or you could take this shortcut.

Good luck with it.

I need to go looking for a photograph to accompany this post. No post without a picture. Call it a combination of old elements :-). Half an hour later: The picture has been placed.

See all posts tagged Creatics. Library Thing.


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