D. L. from Mineral Point, Wisconsin asked, "Do I need to have some project or idea in mind before I can think creatively?"

Dear D.

Usually, we do have a challenge, problem or project in mind, which stimulates creative thinking. However, the only way you are NOT thinking/acting creatively is when you continue to act or think in the same way over and over again without success. We would all be reading in the dark if Thomas Edison had continued to use his first failure as the only way to create a light bulb.

Each creative idea need not be a completely new concept. Historians actually attribute the invention of the incandescent light bulb to 22 inventors BEFORE Edison. Edison expanded and tweaked parts of the process to achieve the development of a long-lasting incandescent bulb. Wouldn’t you still call that creative thinking? Ideas are many times an old idea with a new twist. Or combining two things that very few people would consider using in the same process.

So, whether you have a project in mind or it’s simply the way you approach something as simple as peeling an apple, remember: If you continue to do what you always did, you’ll continue to get what you always got!

Thanks for asking!  Lynnette Schuepbach

Lynnette is an author/illustrator who sees creativity in every aspect of life. To find out more about her and creativity, visit her Web site KidsDoRead.com.  Her children’s books create curiosity in children and speak to sibling rivalry and bullying.

Lynnette serves as chair of Art in the Park on the second weekend of October at the Lindendale Park in Highland. Many local artists will be exhibiting there. It’s her pleasure to be a part of this opportunity for you to experience “World Class Art in a Hometown Atmosphere.” More info at www.highlandartscouncil.org.

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