50 Creativity Muses to Court for Fresh Ideas

By K. Stone

November 15, 2007   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Whether you are an artist, a lawyer, a student, a mother, or just about any role you can conceive, creativity is an ingredient that adds richness, variety, and value to the projects we work on. The problem is that a lot of the time we return to the same well over and over again. We use the same old approach and what happens? The well runs dry.

Creativity is one place where monogamy is not a good thing. It will pay to cheat on your safe old muse.

Here are 50 new muses you can court to find inspiration for your next great creation whether it is a work of art, a killer sales pitch, a new business idea, or a new process for making your family run more smoothly.

Use these muses any way you would like. One idea is to pick a random number then go to that muse and let it inspire you for your task at hand. Another way to pick two and mash them together for inspiration. The more difficult it is to make it fit to your project the more you will stretch and strengthen your creativity.

50 New Muses

1. Your Personal Library. Go take a look at your books or magazines or music collection. What sparks your imagination?

2. A Random Word. This idea comes from a great article on creativity at The Thinking Blog. Pick a word from the dictionary and see what you can do with it. Here’s another great article on creativity.

3. Your Fantasy Vacation Spot. What makes you choose this place and what can you use from that fantasy?

4. A Pregnant Woman.

5. Insects. What about these creatures can be applied to your project?

6. Urban Art. Have you ever encountered this? Check out this site dedicated to urban art to open up your creative well. Pretty amazing stuff.

7. Your Fondest Memory.

8. Dirt.

9. The Contents of Your Pocket or Purse.

10. Hunger. Yours. Others’. What types of hunger can you think of?

11. A Triangle. What does this make you think of?

12. Love.

13. Your Least Favorite Music. Why do you dislike it? Imagine you did like it. How would you accomplish that?

14. A Bottle of Wine. Does this spark a story that sparks an idea?

15. A Spider Web.

16. 1+1= x; x=?

17. A Chick Hatching from an Egg.

18. An Orange. The whole, the peel, the sections, the seeds, the individual juice packets.

19. Finger Paints. The feeling, the experience. What is Not obvious about this?

20. Waves. Radio waves, ocean waves, pain waves. What others come to mind?

21. Your Nemesis.

22. Lion at the Zoo. What does this conjure up for you?

23. Mother.

24. Your Pet. Dogs, cats, other animals. How do they live? What are their “secrets to success?” How would your pet solve the problem?

25. Marbles. Round, shiny, colors, clicking, clustered, alone. What else?

26. Social Networking. Head over to this blog with commentary on social networking. Here is another one with lots of interesting thoughts. How would Seth Godin approach your problem?

27. Archery. Bow & arrow. Darts. How can this reveal a new direction to your project?

28. Color. Rainbows. Ugly colors. Favorite colors. How can you add more “color?” How can you reduce “color” to emphasize other things?

29. A Rainy Day. What’s the feeling? What’s the opposite? What does it relieve? What do you see in your minds eye when you think rainy day?

30. Zen Buddhism. What do you know about Zen ? What does it mean to you? Are there any tenets that can be drawn upon for inspiration?

31. Your Greatest Fear.

32. The Infinite Nature of the Universe. Meditate on it for a few moments traveling through space in your mind. When you open your eyes is your perspective changed?

33. The Political Machine. Try not to think of it as “bad” or “good,” but just rather think about it’s components. What does it all boil down to?

34. The Illusion of Objects Being Solid. All matter is mostly filled with empty space, albeit also with something every powerful, the forces between all the electrons, neutrons, protons and other things I don’t know enough to mention. So what does this mean to your project?

35. What God or Your Conscience Whispered in Your Ear Recently that You Wanted to Reject.

36. The Most Memorable Job You Ever Had. What did you learn there? What was good about it?

37. Your Secret Vice.

38. A Goldfish in a Tank. What strikes you about this image, this predicament, this existence, this sound?

39. The Last Argument You Witnessed That Was Memorable. What was it about? What was the solution? How can that same solution be applied to what you’re working on?

40. The Most Ridiculous Thing You’ve Noticed Lately.

41. A Coin with the Date 1964 on it.

42. One Grain of Sand. Where did it come from? Where has it been? What questions does it make you think of?

43. A Meteor.

44. The Color of Your Favorite Music.

45. Birds. What is their perspective of the world? How can you incorporate that perspective into your work?

46. The Taste of Contentment.

47. Psychics. Whether you believe in them or not. What would a psychic say about your work?

48. A Bridge. Big, small, rickety, strong, weak, what else?

49. An Iceberg.

50. A Fantasy.

What other prompts would you like to add? Please share your experience using this list! We look forward to hearing from you!

Written for Dumb Little Man by K. Stone, author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvements. Popular articles are NaNoWriMo Success: How to Write a Novel in 30 Days and Quantum Leap: What’s Your Next Big Thing?

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