I've read a lot of advice about how to spark creativity. Everyone's creativity takes a different form, however, so the advice that works varies a lot from person to person.
For example, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be efficient and productive. One of my struggles is to allow myself to spend time on activities that don't pay off in some direct way. Creativity often involves play, digression, exploration, experimentation, and failed attempts; it doesn't always look productive.
These are the strategies that work best for me:
1. Taking notes. I have a compulsion to take notes as I read. I write down quotations and bits of information that catch my interest. In fact, all my book projects have really been ways to justify taking the notes that I most wanted to take. I used to fight the urge to take notes that weren't related to a specific project, but no longer. All this note-taking is time-consuming, but in the end, highly satisfying. Along the same lines, I…
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