Weed Wackers & Writer’s Block: Spark Your Creative Juices!

I watched a man buzz down the street—literally—in my mom’s neighborhood the other day, a Weed Wacker engine slung haphazardly onto the back of his bike. This was one of those “only in America” moments.

And people wonder why half the world wants to kill us.

In all seriousness though, I realized something. This man wasn’t only insanely lazy; he was brilliant. You see, my boyfriend has a saying:

“Necessity is the mother of all invention.”

And in his need to remain excessively lazy and prevent his precious legs from peddling, this man took two seemingly unrelated items and combined them. The result? A high-pitched, annoying bike that doesn’t require any work to operate. Mission accomplished.

OK Shari, so what in the world does this have to do with writing?

Combine two opposites for a killer idea

I once learned about an exercise marketers and creatives use when they hit writer’s block:

  1. Rummage through some magazines and cut out random pictures (often found in advertisements).
  2. Paste each picture onto its own piece of cardboard or thick paper.
  3. Shuffle your new “cards” and separate them into two piles (face down).
  4. Randomly pick one card from each pile, and brainstorm a story/script/idea that combines those two images.

The beauty of this exercise is you may end up with a picture of a butterfly, and a man’s razor. How can you combine these two images to create a story?

I’m already picturing a cartoon butterfly awakening from his caterpillar years—and as his first task being a “real man”—shaves in front of the mirror.

Sometimes, combining two completely opposite ideas or themes can spark a brilliant idea. SO TELL ME: What gets YOUR creative juices flowing?

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4 responses to “Weed Wackers & Writer’s Block: Spark Your Creative Juices!”

  1. I’ll have to try your opposites exercise sometime! One thing that really helps me is people watching…. if I go to a public place and watch people for a while it really gives me an immediate boost because I make up stories about everyone I see! As for the guy with the weed wacker engine? Ingenious!

    1. Hahaha! My boyfriend does that too! Except, he’ll also do it with commercials or old movies, on mute. It’s SOOOOO funny! Amazing the types of creative things you come up with that way.

  2. Fun exercise! Really gets the creativity flowing. And that guy … I think he lived in my old neighborhood in Phoenix. Ha ha. Or wait – maybe he’s my neighbor here! 😉

    1. I know!! It is SUCH a fun exercise. I’ve actually used it in a professional setting before, and it really loosens your mind and gets the “fun bug” flowing. 🙂 I love it.

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