Furnish your mind

The great David Oglivy once said that a well-furnished mind was the most important thing for any aspiring creative to own. Which makes sense, when you think about it. It will be your job, after all, to come up with ideas. And an idea is really just a new combination of old elements. So the more material you’ve got floating around in your head, the more likely you are to come up with fresh ideas.

How do you keep your mind furnished? Do things that expand it.

  • Read – You can’t be a good writer if you’re not a good reader. Don’t stick to industry-related books/magazines either, try reading a diverse range of fictional and non-fictional books, magazines, newspapers and blogs.
  • Watch – See more than just your latest blockbusters or the popular tv programmes, why not watch a documentary about our planet or check out your local art-house cinemas?
  • Visit – There are so many places that you can educate yourself in a fun way. Go to the theatre once in a while, or your local museum or an art gallery. You could even go to the zoo.
  • Travel. Reading about other cultures as opposed to experiencing them is like colour being explained to a blind person. It introduces you to the many differences and similarities between cultures, and opens up your mind.
  • Get hobbies – Why not try something that the child in you always wanted to do? This is your chance! It could be anything that teaches you a new skill, makes you think differently or generally piques your curiosity.
  • Learn a new language – This may seem a daunting experience but when was the last time you pushed yourself? Being multi-lingual is a valuable life skill and will make you stand out from other creatives.

Do anything that takes you a little bit out of your comfort zone and gives you a broader range of experiences. It’ll stand you in good stead.

Do you have any more advice that helps you fill your head with ideas? Share them in the comments section below.


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