Have you ever been talking with someone and something came out of your mouth that you didn’t even know that you knew? Or you say something and you didn’t know that you had ever thought that thought? And it took actually saying it OUT LOUD for you to go Oh! Wow – that’s an awesome idea or perspective or philosophy that I didn’t know I had until I said it.
That experience is the basis for this week’s creative thinking strategy of thinking partners OR, what I like to call them, Creative Idea Partnerships to help you grow, refine, clarify, and possibly even implement your own creative ideas.
I actually have three different sets of Creative Idea Partnerships, which are sometimes called thinking partners or thought partnerships.
One is a BIG IDEA Sistermind where I work with two brilliant HIGHLY educated women exploring big ideas. We also have some of the same struggles in overcoming all fun things that women tend to face like imposter syndrome, perfectionism, fear of failure, letting go of knowing the outcome – ALL the creative blocks.
I also have monthly sessions with a Creative Idea Partner in the business world where we brainstorm and clarify ideas for the next step in our businesses.
And finally, I have a writing partner, where we trade pages and chapters, give one another feedback, brainstorming help, and the occasional kick in the ass to actually write pages.
This whole idea is all about the power of the collective, expanding your OWN brainpower by using the brainpower of other brilliant creative minds in your circle.
To set up effective idea and though partnerships, it’s super important to be intentional. So listen in for some tips and ideas on setting up your own creative idea and thinking partnerships in order to help you get your ideas out of your head and wild heart and into the world.
In this solo episode, I discuss:
- Setting your Intention for your Creative Idea Partnership – think about what you want to create and how you want to create it
- Who you want to work with and how you choose them
- How to structure your sessions
- And what to do after your session is done
Links Mentioned in the Show
- Episode #25 with Janet Conner about deep soul writing and connecting to our creativity and inner wisdom on the [page
- Episode #24 about the spiral of the creative process and how we’re not focused on the outcome but open to whatever might come
- Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
- Gillian Archer – my romance writing writer partner
- Jamie Metz – my big idea partner’s videos that are planned for an Amazon Prime film! This project came from Jamie’s own desire to connect with women in a larger way and the deep work she did on that, ideation development and clarity in our thinking group, as well as another creative idea partnership she participates in.
- Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono
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Hello Hello you're listening to Episode 26 of the dear creativity let's play podcast. And today is all about creative idea partnerships, the value in them, how to create them for yourself and to really help you in growing your ideas refining them getting clarity and actually even taking action on them.
But before we dive into that topic I want to invite you to participate any workshop that I'm offering next month, May 2020. I'm offering a soul writing workshop based on Janet Connors book writing down your soul I interviewed her last week in Episode 25. And that will give you a little bit of a taste of what we'll be doing. We will be starting this next month in May and it will be a three week experience where we will dive into how to connect with your own inner wisdom on a page through this thing called soul writing and this is different than rolling, though it can start in the same spot but we're journaling is more about kind of jot in your day or maybe even different types of journaling like you might have a gratitude journal or a manifestation journal or a, like a diary.
In soul writing it's really all about asking questions going deep connecting with what your soul really wants to express, and certainly my soul writing, sometimes is like a total angry purge like Janet talked about last week. Sometimes it's a full on conversation on the page sometimes ideas and things come up that absolutely manifest later in my life and certainly there are elements of deep gratitude, but it's all in my life it's all one journal. And it's one of those things that has and soul writing is one of those things that has a structure to both knock on the door to your inner wisdom and also to keep it open, and there are some ways to set it up and do that. That will help you get there that we will do in the workshop so if you're interested in participating and I invite you to head on over to amyisaman.com/soulwriting, all one word, and check it out.
And now on to this week's episode, which is creative idea partnerships. So soul writing is creative ideas between you and your soul on the page and exploring those creative idea partnerships are really about refining developing exploring ideas with partners. So I am a creativity guide, an idea facilitator, a teacher, a writer, and I thrive on creating space for creativity and creating. And for teaching students how to connect with and trust their own inner wisdom to guide whatever it is that they're creating whatever that it is that is coming through them. And this has been a through line of every business or thing that I've done in my life from teaching scrapbooking years and years ago, running like crafty women's retreats, teaching high school, launching a creative writing program at my school building the Speech and Debate Team from like five students to like 45 so kids who are really you know performing and creating amazing things also started a website for teen writers for them to share their writing and I've even had a web design business over the past couple years where it was really about creating space for women to share their creative gifts.
Now I turned 50 this month and I've spent a lot of time over the past probably year really exploring my life, like what's the thing that has driven all the different ventures I've ever done. What's the thing that really lights me up, and it's really creating new things coming up with ideas and exploring them researching them starting them building them, and then moving on to the next idea. It's taken me a long time to really embrace this because kids, unfortunately often learn that we're not the creative ones, or if we bounce from idea to idea to idea we're like flaky, we can't follow through on things. Because, you know, maybe someone maybe a friend or a teacher mom or your mom whoever said that you've got to stick with an idea or that your idea was dumb or weird or you shared an idea nobody paid attention to it, or somebody told you the picture you drew was ugly or the poem you wrote was lame. Whatever happened.
Many of us internalize this idea that we're not creative, or that having so many creative ideas makes us flaky, or inconsistent or unreliable. And it took me in my early 40s to begin to build my own creativity and my strength as an idea person. Like, it's a thing to be an idea person and it's something I do super naturally so I didn't realize that it was really even a thing until the past, actually probably year. And it's been super fun to embrace that. And here I am, as a creativity guide. So in any case we are creative, you are creative we all are creative. It's an inherent trait of being human. And he just might be stronger into areas of creative process from the idea phase so the questioning phase the research phase the implementation or follow through phase, and today I want to share a creative thinking strategy. That's one of my favorites. To help you bring your creative ideas into being, to get them out of your head and into the world, and the strategy of creative idea partnerships, really takes advantage of everyone's strengths, because we're generating developing refining and exploring ideas and even having some accountability to implement, and of course this is more fun to do in person at a coffee shop or over a glass of wine, but zoom totally works.
So I'm going to be sharing how to set creative idea partnerships, up. And why to do it. So first of all, I want you to think about talking, and how sometimes ideas come as we're speaking.
Because creative idea partnerships are based on discussion. So have you ever been talking with someone and something came out of your mouth that you didn't even know that you knew until you said it, or you said something and you didn't know that you had ever had that thought until it came out of your mouth. And it took, actually, for you to say it out loud, for you to be like, Oh my gosh, that's an awesome idea or perspective or philosophy that I didn't even know I had until it came out of my mouth.
So this happens to me. I'm a talker. And I even I used to call them my Oprah moments like when I was working with one of my high school students, especially like we would go on these really long bus rides, because I live in rural Nevada so like we would compete at high schools that were, you know, 300 miles away. And we'd leave at you know 10 o'clock at night and then get off the bus as the sun was coming up and so when you're on a bus like that with teenagers in the middle of the night. They talk. And so I used to call them my Oprah moments because you're kind of tired and like bleh. And these kids are telling you things and you're like oh god I don't know if I want to know this, but then I would say something and even I would surprise myself and be like, I thought that sounded really wise like where did that come from. And
I would even jot it down like "Oprah moment," I said something really wise, and I would go then explore it later on the page. So, that experience is one of them, experiences in my life that is sort of a basis for this creative thinking strategy. So, I call these creative idea, partnerships and I actually have three different sets of creative idea partnerships, active right now in my life. One of them. We call it a sister mind this one is kind of focused on big ideas and this partnership is with two highly educated women, and we talk about our big ideas, and how those might come to fruition what that might look like. And we also have some of the same struggles in overcoming things that educated women tend to face like impostor syndrome, perfectionism, fear failure, or letting go of knowing the outcome and opening to the process, like all the creative blocks.
I also have a monthly session with a creative idea partner in business. And with her we brainstorm and clarify ideas for next steps in our businesses. And finally I also have a creative writing a creative idea partnership with a writer, and we trade pages and chapters we give one another feedback we brainstorm with one another and we also give one another, the occasional kick in the ass to actually write the pages. So if you'd like sexy romance little side note, pick up one of Gillian Archer's books and you will meet my writing partner, which so totally idea about power of collective and using the power of a group to expand your own ideas is not new, lots of, like, Tolkien and CS Lewis were writing partners and met weekly to brainstorm. Einstein talks about one of his creative idea partners, where they will go on walks and talk about things.
This isn't a new idea, but it's an idea that's super super valuable, especially if you use it intentionally. Okay. And I also don't want you to be afraid of oh I don't want to I don't want to do this because what if somebody steals my idea. And I encourage you if you're there to read a book by Austin kleon called steal like an artist. And I'm not saying, and neither was he that you need to violate the law or copyright law exactly copy to somebody and their idea. But the idea here is not to steal other people's exact ideas but to share, get other ideas combine them in new ways because that's what creativity is, refine them and use the power of your partners to really help you get clarity on your own ideas, and to refine them and even ask questions. So I can come up with seeds of ideas with hints of inspiration like when I'm so writing and walking staring off into space daydreaming whatever. And then my idea partners are those who helped me nurture question, and grow my ideas. So I might not really know what this idea is or what this is going to look like. I might have a vague idea, but they helped me get clarity and refine that ephemeral notion into a much clearer seed or kind of any, an idea for example with this podcast. I actually brought up the idea of wanting to do a podcast. I think 13 months I still remember it very vividly 13 months before I actually launched this podcast. So it was an idea I had, and it took that amount of time to refine it question it, explore it. Some people move much much faster. But for me, with this idea. It took a little more time.
But my creative idea partnerships helped me brand through fishing. So I'm also not just talking about getting together with friends and chit chatting Oh as an idea. This is a super intentional process and you've got to be intentional about how you set up, so I give you I think five steps for setting up creativity partnerships in an intentional ways and get the most out of it. So first, before we think I really want to do this I want, I want you to be very clear about your intention for your idea partnership. Why do you want to do it. What's its purpose is it going to be idea generation refinement idea clarity. You want it to be a safe space to explore and share you want, probably, to be able to take risks and share without judgment like that's weird that's dumb that's a weird idea like you don't want to participate with people who are like that. You want this to be an encouraging and supportive space. You also want to have a space where questioning is accepted and valued and super important. You want to have a space where deep listening happens people aren't on their phone, they're not, you know, doing other things like I am sounds like a good idea like engagement is super important deep listening presence with one another during your sessions, but not all serious right like this is very a playful a playful thing a curious thing and opening thing. Also think about your intention. Is there a theme, like I was saying earlier, I sort of have my big idea. Sister mind partnership. I have my business, creative idea partnership. And I also have a writing one. So think about like is this going to be about self expression, do you want to generate ideas or, you know, business ideas for how you're going to show up in the world do you want to generate ideas for your art or for your creative work. Do you want to generate ideas and refine ideas maybe to even in parenting, whatever it is, like, how can you, What is your intention for this? Do you have a theme? but also then think about really clearly what kind of space you want to create. Okay.
Next thing you got is who. How do you want to make this up, who do you Who do you want to invite in here. And I would say that three to two actually two to four people is best. Okay. You want both a mix of people in your field, and not in your field.
If you're, especially if you're doing something like, you know, business ideas or like a big idea, group. You want people who are might be naive to what you do, because they ask great questions, they don't know the status quo like you might say oh well it's always been done I can't do that because it's always been done that way but if you have somebody who's throwing out ideas because they have absolutely no sense of the constraints that you think you might be working in. Somebody who doesn't know those constraints is a great idea partner. Right. They're the people that ask, "Well what if?" "could this work?" "Have you thought about it this way?" So, your own expertise sometimes can be a bit of a challenge to innovation and creativity, especially like, you know, this is how you get published or. This is how you launch a business online or this is how you there's an infinite number of ways to do it right and then we tend to listen to like the Guru's so think about you know find people who don't maybe know if you did it this way.
Totally couldn't work you don't know.
So, think of people who are in different fields as a strength. You want people who are encouraging so you don't want yours, right, like in idea development we definitely need to ask, er, type questions there is a time and a space for that, like Will this work is this feasible right like the kind of negative Nelly questions to really drill down the details, but you probably don't want somebody who looks at all of life like that and is not going to be generating new fun ideas. Watch out for crazy makers and Julia Cameron in the artists way in week three I believe talks a lot about crazy makers so people that are just very self absorbed they try and make it all about themselves or low changing all kinds of you know the kind of people I'm talking about. So be very intentional about who you invite into creative partnerships with yourself and think also about people who this kind of goes back to the people who are not in your field and I want to share an example with you. So, in my big partnership. One of the women had posted something that she's just getting into social media and she's just an incredible woman, and she had posted something and it didn't, she posted something and it got a ton of traction and the next thing she posted got no traction.
And she was saying well clearly my audience doesn't like that so I won't post it again. And the other one, you know, post anything on that again and the other woman in our group was like no, wait a minute she has a PhD in micro molecular biology or something really different. What I studied which is a master's in literature.
So she was like, No, no, This is just data, anytime, like failures are not failures in the lab. It's just data collection "oh that didn't work the way I was expecting to, okay mark that off" so that redirects you to where you you know where you will get the results you're looking for.
So, completely reframing and it totally reframed my experience of social media too because I was sort of like oh it didn't work I won't post it again, but just, it's all just feedback, like it's all just feedback that's it. It's just data. It's not any kind of judgment on who we are, it's that you know the social media algorithm on Facebook or Instagram or whatever it is. And it's merely data. Totally reframed that. So think about that, like, how can you don't be afraid to get like I said people from different fields. And, and you'll find in a creative partnership that you'll you'll sort of rotate these roles right like sometimes you'll be reframing something for somebody else and then they'll be questioning you and then, you know, oh well then you're encouraging and she's encouraging and so you kind of rotate these roles but again be intentional about who you invite and and think about personalities.
Next you want to think about how you want to structure this so generally in a creative idea partnership. It's people with their individual goals and they're exploring either different ideas, or the same sort of theme, like I was saying like maybe if you have a writing group, everybody's gonna be writing and exploring their ideas that they're putting out in writing or maybe it's a big idea group where you're exploring, like I don't know maybe this big idea is going to turn into a book or maybe it's going to turn into a business or maybe it's going to turn into a film which is actually happening with one of my idea partners, and you can check that out. Actually, I'll share her YouTube channel. It's Jamie Metz, and she's yeah creating movies, which was not even on the radar six months ago right or a year ago, so you don't know like where this is going to go.
That brings me to the next part. So, so you want like people with individual goals but everybody who's moving toward those individual goals, this is not just like an informal meeting of girlfriends like getting together.
So this also isn't about like measurable SMART goals we all hear about every January, or achieving specific outcomes. This is the first step in creating. And it's a step that you'll come back to over and over and over so we're pretty much rejecting Stephen Covey's premise. Starting with the end in mind. Like, that's BS in this, because we don't know what the end is going to be. In my writing group I know the end is going to be a book, but I've actually switched and I'm no longer right working on my novel because it was sucking me dry like I wasn't inspired by it and so I'm working on a nonfiction piece right now. Way lighter I don't know what this book is going to look like. I know it's gonna be a book, but I don't know if I'm gonna blog it first. I don't know how it's going to get out there I'm still in the idea phase of this so reject the whole end in mind, reject that whole piece, open up to the idea, not knowing what this is going to look like or how it's going to look or where you're going to end up.
Okay, this is where the growth is this is where the fun and the play happens. This is where creativity happens when you open up to this process. I talked a lot about the creative process. In Episode 24 like the spiral of creativity right like like we're not billing in a linear way from point A to point B and we already have been defined. We're starting at point A and saying, maybe what if I want to create this thing. And in a creative idea partnership, you're sharing that out there with a group of other brilliant mind saying maybe I want to create this thing. And this is when thinking and the, and then the other minds are going to help you refine that and think about it, and clarify it and hold you accountable to it. So that's how I'm gonna structure it right, you're gonna have a couple people, not talking about like all working on your own individual goals, maybe those goals are in common.
And so you're finding the people on this page. It's like how do you want to structure it you're finding the people, and you're setting up the ground rules.
And I would encourage you to actually set ground rules at the beginning of your very first meeting like what does this gonna look like, and brainstorm the ground rules like what do people need for this process to look and if they're like, "I don't know, I've never done this before." So okay, well, maybe just start with some basic ones like we're going to listen to one another. We're going to be present. Every single person will get time to talk in this meeting so if we have an hour, and there are three of us, and we don't start sharing our ideas until 10 minutes in, then we're each going to get about 15 minutes, and then five minutes at the end to tie things up. So be very clear about, you know, each person gets her time to talk and then stick to it. And at the end of 15 minutes, they're done. Okay, awesome, you're good feel complete got another ground rule and have is no rejecting or responding to ideas as are being introduced. Write all the ideas down right like this is opening up you can't be like oh that won't work. No, that won't work. No, that won't work because you know, we're exploring or focus on whoever is speaking and whoever's turn it is with all of your attention, ask questions, ask the hard questions, ask, information questions, tell me more, ask, why do you feel about that does that feel good, ask your questions right. Is this possible. Could we actually do this. There's actually a guided politics hats I give a lot of different ideas on different types of questions that you can ask. I'll leave a link to that book in the show notes.
It's by Edward de Bono called How to have a beautiful mind is where he talks about it, actually this is a book, I have that he talks about that I think he's. Oh, he also has a book called six thinking hats. That really talks about that, types of questions to ask. But at the end of your meeting. So the final minutes then everybody kind of takes a moment. Okay, based on this discussion based on what's coming up basically ideas I've had, what are the action steps you're going to take to to explore this idea further that might be researching might be so writing might be you know meditating on it thinking about it more. It might be actually implementing it.
Think about you know that's the accountability piece in the creative idea partnership, and the following session finally Step four, I think we're on. Sit with your ideas. Take everything taken all the information you've got from your idea people and let your brain play with ideas and expand on them. Like I said during songwriting meditation walking in the shower. Driving as you're falling asleep.
So allow yourself in your brain to relax. Duncan Wardle in a TED talk talks about, you know how when you're in an argument, and you can't like in the argument. You can't think of the comeback and like that night when you're falling asleep your like oh my god I should have thought that should have said that or you know in the shower, you know, driving home, your brain relaxes goes into a slower brainwave state Janet Connor and I talked about the theta brainwave state on episode 25. So, let your brain slow down and get into that creative space and then we'll work on it and it'll come to you.
Okay, those ideas will come to you.
So get your ideas, bring your ideas to the group, you have intentionally set up invite people to participate with you explore them, ask questions. Take the ideas, you've got, and then go back and sit with them. And remember if I'd like to learn how deep songwriting and how to explore ideas on the page I'm having that workshop. Next month and you can find out about that at me iseman.com forward slash. So hope you found this strategy helpful. It has been, I didn't realize it but a key strategy in my growth. As a person kind of my whole life it's something I've really use I like I said at the beginning of the episode, I'm a talker and talking helps me get clarity. It helps me really refine those ideas, it's a it's a positive step for me in the creative process. Now, do I talk out every idea. No, I don't. Do some ideas I just talk out on the page. You bet. Do some ideas, I create more through and other creative ways. Absolutely. But this is a great way to explore ideas that you want to possibly bringing into the world. So I encourage you to think about who might be great idea, creative idea partners for you and how you might set that up and try it, give it a go commit to you know monthly meetings for say six months or twice monthly meetings for six months, and see how it goes, see if it, see if it works.
If you've made it to the end of this podcast and you're intrigued with the idea of a creative idea partnerships you mean email at [email protected] and kind of working on formalizing this whole thing a bit so we shall see how that goes. And if you're interested, let me know, I'd love to hear from you and and hear your thoughts, hear your thoughts on this whole idea. And if you're like, No, I don't want to talk about it, don't want to talk about my ideas, I just want to explore them myself. I'm offering that Soul writing workshops So amyisaman.com/soulwriting you're interested in that.
And finally, I am a small business owner, and right now during the corona crisis, small businesses have been hit incredibly hard. And one thing that you can do to really support small businesses right now, even if just emotionally to say "Hang in there, small business owner I love your businesses," whether you're listening to podcasts, you can head over to iTunes or whatever platform you listen to podcasts on and leave a star rating and review for this podcast for any of your favorite podcasts in fact encouraged for all your favorite podcasts. I also encourage you to do that for Favorite businesses if you go to their social media go to Facebook and go to the Facebook page and leave him a review. Like why I'm so excited for this business to open back up, or whatever it is, because right now. We all need that, like, the encouragement and it's free, and it just takes a couple minutes of your time. So thank you so much for listening. Keep on creating sharing your ideas, getting out there and I will be back next week with another episode.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai