Something New

I took a workshop in stand-up comedy with the multi-talented Peggy Boyce. She gave us an exercise which was meant to unleash some writing creativity. We were told simply to do something we had never done before and write about it. It could be any simple thing – it didn’t have to be anything wild and adventurous, just something new.

The building I work at has a very wide footprint and there is a sidewalk that goes around the perimeter. A colleague and I were having a meeting and because it was one of those suddenly beautiful days she suggested we walk while we talked. Since walking all the way around the building was something I hadn’t done before, I thought I would multi-task by suggesting we do that.

I didn’t tell my coworker of my ulterior motive – especially since I thought it was probably a lame new thing to do that wouldn’t really provide me with any writing material.

So we walked and talked and got about three quarters of the way around the building when suddenly, for no apparent reason, the sidewalk ended! We both just stopped and started laughing. My initial thoughts went to the beloved Shel Silverstein book “Where the Sidewalk Ends.” It struck us so funny that for no apparent reason the sidewalk just stopped – without destination, explanation or obvious reason. So we had to turn around and go back the way we came. All sorts of funny things occurred to us, like what if highways did that – just stopped without an exit – and all the cars had to turn around and go back where they came from. Or, was it some metaphor for getting to the end of the road of life? Did they run out of concrete? Did the workers get tired?

So, the next time you are stuck, whether it be a funky mood, a rut, trying to solve a problem or come up with a creative idea – just try something new. Here are some easy to do suggestions:

  • Drive down road or street you were never on before
  • Go to the library and pick up a magazine you wouldn’t normally read
  • Go to sleep in a different room
  • Listen to a different genre of music than you normally do
  • Learn to play a new board game or card game

Happy discovering – and let us know what you did!