How loud is your inner censor? Mine has a megaphone and an amplifier system that he can turn up at-will. It’s annoying, mostly because he tends to use it when I’m trying to generate ideas.

Here’s the thing: you can’t create and critique at the same time. We’ve all been onstage, singing a 4 minute tune, and become mentally obsessed with the flub/crack/phlegm at 00:30. If you can’t put the censor, the critic back in the box, the whole song is a wash: if you can, your audience might just forget about the incident at 00:30.

The best ideas come when you’re in the shower, on the subway, when your thinking is less ordered, more nebulous.

This post from the NYT corroborates my point from a totally different industry. While the article is mostly about interviewing and Mr. Leong’s insatiable curiosity, it hits on a key point:

 I think there’s one rule of thumb in creativity: when you’re brainstorming, you have to suspend disbelief. That’s a key ingredient. There’s time enough to challenge it and poke holes, but not at the time of generation.

Suspending disbelief. Playing the “Yes. And…” game. Ideate without worrying about the outcome.

I think there’s another word for all that – I think the word is play.

Get out there and play, my friends. Happy Friday!


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