Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and Tony Award-winning actor lettsTracy Letts (author of “Osage County”) shares his top ten ways to become the most creative self in this video. His ideas here are a bit …creative, so probably don’t listen at work (unless you work by yourself, at home, alone).


Ultimately his tactics are methods to get out of your own way (“allow what already exists to be”) and allowing creativity to exist.(Interesting: this is exactly what David Kelley, founder of IDEO, says is the key to unlocking creativity.)


Some of my favorites on his list are:
  • Do Nothing
  • Read Fiction
  • Break Patterns of Thought and Emotion (this frees up yourself to do things newly)
  • Get out of the Way (referring to stopping your internal editor)
  • Don’t Create Anything – It Already Exists  (he does Improv with the famous improvisers T.J. and Dave to practice this, a fundamental tenant of creativity – get out what is taking up space in your mind, even the bad and ordinary).
He also recommends to stop drinking. While it reduces the editing our brain does, he says, it also makes ideas less innovative.


While some of the things on his list hit the high points many people talk about as important for creative development (stopping the internal editor and get all the ideas that exist out by not creating anything new) some things that fuel creativity, or shut it down, will be unique to each person. Other things on his list won’t apply to everyone.
It’s a good exercise to not only make a list of when you’re most creative, but also just to do new things, experience new challenges and burn new treads in thought and feeling patterns.