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.
Charlie — it’s an honor to be part of the series — I’ve been really enjoying hearing everyone’s thoughts. Thanks so much for facilitating this great core conversation!
Really this is one of the reasons I enjoy co-working (with the right group) so much. It gives me an opportunity to bounce ideas around with like-minded people so that we can motivate ourselves to keep pushing the needle forward.
I love your format. And frankly, I wouldn’t add much. Right atmosphere, good, passionate group and some good tunes and we’re good to go!
@RicardoBueno Thanks so much Ricardo! I love co-working too — even if you’re not actively talking with people, it’s so nice to be able to pop-up and ask for a second opinion on something (if you’re with friends) or just get motivated by the creative energy in the room. And yes — good music is key! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts — I always appreciate them 😀
Great advice @jenny_blake . Especially taking a symbolic day like New Years and turning it into a day to get so much accomplished. Would love to try an idea like this someday.
@ryanknapp Thanks so much Ryan!! Yes — it felt like a great “set the tone” activity for 2011 🙂 And was much more fulfilling than a night out drinking and standing in line at bars. Definitely let me know if/when you set up your own creative day of genius — I’ll be there in spirit!
The more I think about this idea, the more I like it! I’m tempted to turn it into a weekend of genius at a nice place up in the mountains…
@kirstenasimmons YES! Or in any number of places. It’s a wonderful idea!
@worldmegan@kirstenasimmons Kirsten – I LOVE IT!! A weekend of genius at a place in the mountains sounds like absolute heaven!! I did that once when I was writing my book — cup of coffee, music, crisp air….ahhhh, you’re motivating me to put together another one just like it!
@jenny_blake @ worldmegan
I’m thinking writing retreat! We all have books that could benefit from a solid weekend, no? 😉
@kirstensimmons For sure!! Enjoy 😀
The Creative Day of Genius party is FAR SUPERIOR to the New Year’s Eve party (and truthfully, most other parties as well). You, my dear lady, are a genius. (Of course!)
@worldmegan Thanks Megan!! My thoughts exactly…NYE parties are SOOOO overrated!! Glad you like the concept — let me know if you ever decide to put one together — in my opinion, there’s no better way to kick-off the new year — or any day, for that matter!
Good read and video. Brainstorms are my favorite type of meeting, from the silly to the world-changing. (Thanks, Megan, for showing this in my stream…)
@NandoJourneyman Thanks so much Nando! Brainstorms are the best — truly an example of how 1 (person) + 1 = 100! Have a fantastic day 🙂
What an amazing idea Jenny!!! I’m passing this on to all my creative friends and I know they are going to love it. Thanks so much for your inspiring message.
@piglet Thanks Piglet!!! You’re going to love the creative day of genius — awesome that you’re getting your friends involved!
Love the idea of spending an entire day with many moments of quiet reflective time and then group together to share. I will add to my list of things to do.
@aliciacurtis It was AMAZING!
@aliciacurtis It was simply amazing! I’m still being productive!
Loved this idea! Here’s my wrap up of my recent Creative Day of Genius inspired by your post! http://revolutionarylives.com/blog/2011/10/19/creative-day-of-genius.html