Creativity Practice: Use Seven Ways to Get Unstuck

by | Aug 31, 2021 | Creativity, News Updates

7 Ways I might solve this problem​One of my favorite ways to try busting through roadblocks is to generate at least seven alternatives (bonus points for even more ideas). The reason for 7+ ideas is that the first few typically are the usual solutions. Those might solve the problem at hand. But if they won’t do the deed, having a longer list of ideas yields more creative and satisfying options.

I use 7 ways frequently in my home life but also in my writing, both in crafting content and in how to approach a project.

Two examples:
• The main character in a picture book I have out on submission desperately wants a cat but his dad’s allergies are the problem standing in the way. He uses 7 ways (without this being explicitly called out) to finally land on a creative solution.
• While updating my Nina Kosterina biography last year, I got myself into a deep, dark rut and time suck on how to address a formatting challenge involving sidebars from the first edition. To say I spent way too much time in a hole would be a colossal understatement. It took me a while to recognize I was stuck, stop and do a 7 ways exercise. The ideal solution ended up being the simplest and I can’t get those hours back.

Good things about this method: it helps with a variety of problems, it’s fast, portable, requires no fancy tools and can be done solo or with others. Give it a try!