Be Playful

7 Acts of Randomness to Disturb and Enrage Buried Creativity

Posted on: 3 December 2008

bad luck (by kalandrakas)

‘He was very inquisitive; always asking random questions about random things.’

Brett Bailey

Écureuil curieux -- Inquisitive squirrel (by Gilles Gonthier)

If life feels the same everyday and you’re looking for something new, it’s time to add the spice of randomness into the mix of your life.

The Randomness Philosopher

Philosopher of randomness and precocious entrepreneur Ben Casnocha explains why moments of spontaneous randomness can end up being the most creative and productive of all:

‘The randomness philosophy is based on the difficulty of predicting which projects will ultimately be most successful. Sometimes it’s the random projects that turn out to be most important. We ought to expose ourselves to randomness. We should proactively generate opportunities that might seem random…because who knows?’

Unlocking Creativity; Confronting Fear

Being deliberately random opens your life up to new possibilities and opportunities; it opens up your soul to the creative energy submerged within you. Being creative is scary, so if being random seems frightening, it’s all the more reason to try it.

The 7 Acts of Randomness

1. Use a random pen
The new feel of the pen between your fingertips, the strangeness of different coloured ink, the sweep of the nib across the page – these could all be the thing to generate the creative spark you’re looking for.

2. Sign up to a random blog
Click through an inspriring comment on your favourite blog. At the new blog, find another comment you like, and click again. Then once more. With the luck of randomness, you’ll be on a blog that you’ve never read before. Sign up for a week or two, and spend time engaging with the different ideas fed direct to your RSS reader.

3. Write on a random piece of paper
This could be your used train ticket, the receipt from your groceries, the back of that holiday postcard for Grandma you never got round to sending. Fill it to bursting point with new and exciting ideas.

4. Generate a random word
And use it to write a sentence. About fish. Even though I’m vegetarian, I sometimes crave tunafish for tea. (To clarify, you don’t have to write about fish. My random word was fish. My second random word was clarify. Enough for one day, methinks).

5. If you’re a writer, paint a picture. If you’re a painter, write a story
If you’re neither of these, set aside a weekend to try both.

6. Read a random book completely outside your field of expertise
There’s a secret here: don’t choose an utterly random book. Find a book you like the look of, but on a subject you’ve never read before. If you’re a scientist, maybe try a historical biography. Artists, look at introductions to chaos theory or quantom physics. Business people, what about a book on political anarchism? Libraries are great for this experiment because they’re entirely cost free.

7. Speak to a random stranger
I’ve done this a few times in my life, and the wonderful thing is, most people love to have a good natter with someone they’ve never met before. Trains and buses are two of the best places for random conversations. (A word of warning: don’t try this with businessmen absorbed in a laptop, BlackBerry device, or sophisticated statistical report. They are entirely unappreciative).

And Now It’s Your Turn

Please share other useful and non-useful acts of randomness in the comments.

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16 Responses to "7 Acts of Randomness to Disturb and Enrage Buried Creativity"

StumbleUpon gives me my daily dose of randomness. I particularly like choosing a channel and then stumbling through it. The connections that can be made through the random sites really spark my creativity :-)
Amy
xx

amypalko’s last blog post..please update commentluv plugin

I am disturbed and enraged by this post. LOL. That is the best title I have seen in a long time.

Damien’s last blog post..please update commentluv plugin

Amy,
Although my creative side thrives on connections, I never thought of looking for connections between random Stumbled-upon sites. A wonderful idea if ever I heard one.

Damien,
Thanks! I hope your disturbed rage brings out some creativity. For many artists, high emotion can be integral to creating a work of beauty.

The most disturbing and enraging thing was the title of this post, it really shows your creative thinking!

No wonder then that the content is so useful, you already gave a good example, thanks!

AxeCity’s last blog post..please update commentluv plugin

I’ve done #6 and it totally opened up my world. I read a book about the Irish potato famine and what they went through because of the British. Great idea. I think the next one I’ll try is the blog one. I usually stick to already known interests which, as you intimate, keep me in a closed off world. Let’s see what fun I can get into….

Jenn’s last blog post..please update commentluv plugin

I found you randomly, how’s that?

I go into the bookstore, and I go to a random section, and pick up a book at random. Often I find it’s just exactly what I needed to read, and that’s wonderful too.

Most of my life has been lived utterly randomly, and I think that’s a good thing.

P.S. Lovely post and gorgeous pictures. The squirrel especially.

Joely Black’s last blog post..please update commentluv plugin

Hi David – Great tips. I also love the photo of the squirrel.

My favorite random act is to Stumble someone’s post (and not tell them). I envision their surprise when they have a spike in their traffic. The thought of it makes me smile.

Barbara Swafford – Blogging Without A Blog’s last blog post..please update commentluv plugin

AxeCity,
Glad you found this post helpful. I was quite proud of thinking up the title!

Jenn,
Let me know if you find anywhere exciting. The Irish Potato Famine was a terrible thing.

Joely,
So glad that you found your way here. I often find myself stuck in bookshops for hours, paralysed by the choice of it all – not just that I don’t have the money to buy all the books I’d like to read, but that I don’t have the time to read them.

Have signed up for your blog, excited to be kept up to date on the random events in your life.

I found the pictures by searching for ‘random’ on flickr creative commons – one of my favourite websites on teh internet.

Barbara,
I love stumbling other people’s posts, and having my own posts stumbled.

I love this topic, great suggestions, and I may have to break out the paints today!

[...] just been random blogg hopping when me comes across this:7 Acts of Randomness to Disturb and Enrage Buried Creativity…its about adding the spice of randomness into the mix of your [...]

Hi David, great site you have here – I love the theme of bringing fun to our life. Have subscribed to your feed and will be checking back regularly :)

Also stumbled on your post as well :) My favourite random act is springing a surprise on my friends – whether via sms, a call, or dropping an unexpected visit – and feeling/seeing that smile just beam right across that face. Nothing in the world can replace that!

I often pick a book off a shelf and open it at a random page…sometimes I find a jewel and sometimes I read a pile of…but either way the anticipation is fun!

I stumble lots…that’s how I find all kinds of curious, inspiring, humbling and plain wierd stuff.

Haha. Nice little bits of randomness. I often just look out my window… I have a sweet view of the city, and somehow it always inspires some intellectual thought… (or something like that) :-)

I found your random comment at skelliewag.org & now I’m adding a random post. Now, I’m adding some random suggestions to add to this random list:

1. Eat a random food
2. Wear a random color
3. Listen to random music
4. Watch a random movie
5. Take a random walk

This was fun! Thanks for letting me play along. :)

Randomness is delightful. And somehow it makes my coffee taste better (especially at one in the morning). Thanks for these great tips; my buried creativity will surely be disturbed, but I’m excited!

Nice post.. this was automatically generated to my “The Beauty of Randomness” post…. there’s beauty in being Random… :)

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