Friday, March 23, 2007

Alternate Lyrics Kung-Fu

There's a good, somewhat aged post over at Creating Passionate Users about "Creativity on Speed." The basic idea being that having to create something under time constraints is a good way to jump-start the creative process, or jump past creative barriers.

I agree. Back in school, when I was studying writing both in class and in lots of off-hours ways, we'd do lottsa exercises that forced time pressures on us. One of my favorites was "Alternate Lyrics Kung-Fu." Here's how it goes.

  1. Everybody writes the name of a well-known, popular song on a slip of pink paper.

  2. Everybody writes a topic on a slip of yellow paper. And by topic, I mean just about anything. You can write any word or short phrase like, "monkeys," "car repair," "psychotropic drugs," "communism," "your mom," etc.

  3. Put the slips in the middle of the table.

  4. Pick one of each.

  5. You now have 2 minutes to rewrite the song you picked (on the pink slip) with lyrics based on the topic written on the yellow slip.

So, let's say you got the Beatle's song, "Norweigan Wood," and the topic, "cheese." OK... Go!
I once had a lunch, or should I say, I once had cheese.
Cheese can be a side, but not a meal. I wasn't full.
Cheese passed on a plate at a party is something that's fair.
But all by itself can be boring, there's not much "there" there.
And when I was done, I craved much more, more than that cheese.
So I baked a pie. Isn't it good. More tasty food.

Now... I admit. I spent about 4 minutes on that. OK. But I haven't played the game in... yeech. Almost 20 years.

In a post soon I'll go back and talk about how time is only one part of "the box" we're always trying to get out of when we talk about "getting out of the box." We can't get out of the box. We can only understand it and use it better. There are other ways to master the box. More on the box later.

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