Impromptu Prompt

“Creativity itself doesn’t care at all about results – the only thing it craves is the process. Learn to love the process and let whatever happens next happen, without fussing too much about it. Work like a monk, or a mule, or some other representative metaphor for diligence. Love the work. Destiny will do what it wants with you, regardless.”

Elizabeth Gilbert

It’s hard to know how to write a bestseller. In fact, I’ll admit it—I don’t know what the secret is. But I do know a little about creativity.

Your creative and imaginative abilities thrive with practice, like most skills. For content producers like me, being able to think up new ideas and implement them is a skill worth cultivating. And, as Albert Einstein said:

“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”

Creativity isn’t just being original. It’s rehashing and reshaping ideas that came before yours, in new and imaginative ways.

One of the best activities I know of for practicing creative thought is the dreaded impromptu speech. When I competed in high school, my speech coach told us:

“Impromptu is the easiest speech to give. Why? No preparation. And impromptu is the hardest speech to give. Why? No preparation.”

When you draw a random topic and have all of 2 minutes to concoct a coherent and engaging 5-minute speech, your poor strained mind will soon learn what it is to be creatively productive. And so my mind did. After many flounders, and too many speeches to count, my creative faculties rose to the task. Now, every time I write a blog post, or rush towards a NaNoWriMo word count goal, or even just speak casually, I use the skills I practiced with impromptu speaking.

Try impromptu! Find a local speech league and sign up. If you want a crash course in creativity, nothing matches the 2 minutes deadline and 5 minute speech.


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