Getting back to basics

I have just been over at Dan Goodwin’s blog (also known as Coach Creative), reading his latest post, about starting all over again. Dan asks ‘If tomorrow you lost every single thing you owned, and were given some money to begin your creative life all over again, what 5 things would you buy?’

It got me thinking (which of course was the point), about how many channels I use to create these days. If I had to pick 5 of the things I currently use, they would be (in no particular order):

  1. My Dell notebook
  2. A selection of journals
  3. Several pens ranging from an old bic biro to a mid range fountain pen
  4. A camera (usually the one on my phone)
  5. Actually there are only 4 things but I want to make this look like a list of 5.  I don’t know why this feels so important to me.

However, on reflection, all I really need is a pen or pencil, and some paper.  A journal would be nice, but any paper would do.  When I was younger and worked part time in a shop, I used to write stories on the back of til receipts that people left behind.  I guess what I’m tryng to say is that even with nothing, if we want to create, we will find a way, making creative tools out of whatever we have to hand.

So, I would like to thank Dan for his post, for reminding me that when I find my creativity stalling, perhaps simply getting back to basics can get the ideas flowing again.

5 responses to “Getting back to basics

  1. cheyanneyoung

    My list would have included a flash drive for the computer =) I agree about getting back to basics. I’ve discovered several times that staring at a blank word document on the computer is not very helpful for writer’s block, but when I take out a notebook and pen the ideas seem to flow easier. That’s actually the reason I’ve spent the last two days transcribing a 70 page spiral of writing onto my computer.

  2. Hey Cheyanne, thanks for stopping by. Two days transcribing, wow! I find that process useful for editing as I go but I must admit I still have quite a few notebooks that I have yet to type up. I agree about the blank word doc, there’s something about a flashing cursor that’s so much more accusing than a simple blank piece of paper which seems to me to wait more patiently to be filled…

  3. Hi Honest, thanks for the mention. : )

    Some very interesting similarities. Despite my love of the simplicity of pencil and paper, I consider my mobile phone probably my most creative tool all round. I often save ideas and fragments of poetry on it, sometimes record thoughts on the voice recorder, and every photo I take has been on it.

    I’ve never got round to getting a “proper” camera, and especially after I went out taking pics with a friend once who had a highly rated and higher resolution new digital camera, but my photos on my phone actually came out better.

    I also used to work on a checkout in a shop, and never left a shift without having pockets stuffed with scraps of till receipts with poem lines and ideas jotted down. Still do in my office day job now. I have a stack of scrappy notes on my bedside table waiting to be expanded upon…


    • Hey Dan, thanks for the comment! And yes, some interesting similarities in the way we work… I too, use the voice recorder on my phone, but at the moment that’s more to hear how a poem sounds before a performance. I might now use it to record ideas when I don’t have paper and a pen – so thanks for the tip!

      • That reminds me, I use the video camera on my phone too, to record pictures and sound. It’s an amazing tool Hey I can also make phone calls with it too!

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