Editor’s Note: This is a continuation of our core conversation on “Great Connections Lead to Great Ideas.” Yesterday, Janet Goldstein explained why thought leaders need conversations with thought partners, brainiacs and themselves. Today’s contribution is from Jenny Blake, who shows us how to create our own Creative Day of Genius.
Making great connections is a fantastic way to learn and grow from like-minded movers and shakers in the world; but you’ll take your ideas even further if you also find ways to facilitate environments that bring creatives together.
Earlier this year I threw a “Creative Day of Genius” party instead of a traditional New Years Eve night out (of drinking and hassling with cabs). Four women and I got together over a favorite foods potluck, wine and chocolate to work on our biggest goals and creative projects. One came up with her book idea, another finalized her proposal (and has since gotten a book deal with Wiley), and I outlined and started writing an e-book (which has since turned into a soon-to-be-released 8-week course) called “Make Sh*t Happen: The step-by-step guide to accomplishing that one big dream.”
The Creative Day of Genius provided a fun, powerful environment for us to come together to work on passion projects — the excitement and energy in the room was palpable. I often say that 1+1=100, which is how this day felt. Each of our ideas grew richer by having each other there to brainstorm and bounce ideas off of.
Arranging a creative genius day or night also requires properly setting the stage.
What would make it a fabulous, soul-stirring experience? To give you some ideas, here’s what our New Years Eve bonanza included:
- Morning yoga session (delivered by me)
- Writing “sprints” throughout the day on our biggest ideas. Work for 40 minutes, then chat, share, brainstorm and collaborate for 20 minutes – off and on throughout the day. Everyone also set a few goals at the outset about what would be most thrilling to accomplish.
- Piles of magazines & a flip chart to do vision-boarding (optional).
- Doing other cool things like taking symbolic action on something that scares us
- Fire in the fireplace, great music playing in the background
- Favorite foods potluck — pasta, pizza, prosecco, chips/salsa, green-bean casserole, cupcakes & macaroons — to name a few
How about you – what would your IDEAL Creative Day of Genius entail?
Think about a big dream that you might be tiptoeing around, and consider setting up your own creative day of greatness with friends. Start bringing your big ideas to life!
More about Jenny: Jenny Blake is an author, blogger, life coach and sought-after speaker who helps others “Wake up, live big! and love the journey.” She has been featured on Forbes.com, US News & World Report, CNN.com and was recognized by Suze Orman as a leader among Gen Y. Jenny started her blog, LifeAfterCollege.org, in 2005 and recently translated it into a popular book, Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want (Running Press, 2011), which serves as a portable life coach for 20-somethings. Jenny recently took her own great leap by leaving Google after five and a half years at the company (on the Training, Career Development and Authors@Google teams) to pursue her passions full-time. Follow her on twitter @Jenny_Blake.