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Chapter 4. Getting Started > Tip 20 Brainstorm Now, Organize Later

Tip 20 Brainstorm Now, Organize Later

Suppose you’re in a group that’s meeting to plan the next company picnic. Everyone is just tossing ideas around. Jenny says, “How about a South Sea Islands theme?” Brian immediately says, “That’s a stupid idea.” What happens to Jenny? She’s embarrassed and becomes very quiet—no more ideas from her. Brian’s comment cut a whole human mind out of the process and will probably inhibit others’ contributions, too.

Early Criticism Kills the Creative Process

Few of us would be as crass as Brian. We wouldn’t be so cruel to others— and yet we are often that cruel to ourselves when we write. In composing a memo or report, how many of us think of an idea, write it down, and then immediately cross it off? Or worry if it’s appropriate or phrased or spelled correctly? Worse, how many of us just stare into space, not writing anything down until we think of the perfect idea?


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