We use the term “creative thinking” a lot in our work. As puzzle makers, my partner, Marcy and I have to be creative in our day-to-day lives. Whether we are brainstorming ideas for a prior concept, or coming up with an entirely new game, there are specific skills we use to think creatively, together. Since launching Solving Fun, Marcy and I agreed we would co-create materials as much as possible. Each puzzle comes to life through a very messy, but beautiful process that involves creativity and organization. I am going to share some things we have learned while working together over the last few years that helps us boost creativity.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the blank page. One of us is usually a little anxious about starting a new project. It's great to work in partnership because we are able to calm each other's nerves when we get started!
Have an organizational strategy that also keeps your ideas flowing. We generally start brainstorming with scraps of paper, grid paper, scissors, pens, markers, rulers, and hole punches. We jot down any ideas that we may want to remember for later. Once we decide to start going down a path, we move toward software like Google Jamboard.
Don’t love your first idea so much you are closed off to other ideas. It may be a good start, but there are probably even better ones coming along if you are willing to work a little.
Put your own ideas to the test in the same way you challenge others, and be open to letting your own ideas go.
Be willing to combine ideas! Often, Marcy starts us with a zany idea and the sentence, “Okay, I know this may sound crazy…” Those are usually the best ones that we use later and combine with something more censored.
Make sure everyone is ready. Creative thinking skills are nearly impossible when we are hungry, grumpy, or tired. Sometimes we go for a walk - that really helps! And something we have learned the hard way: never begin brainstorming for a new project on a Friday afternoon!
Creative thinking is a skill that can be taught and strengthened. Suggestions above can help boost creativity, but what really makes the difference? Practicing it! Jump in and try to come up with your own crazy ideas!
We would love your ideas either in the comments below or email us at email@example.com.