Free Association as a Creation Tool

After writing about Checklists and other such nuts and bolts stuff, I thought I’d change gears and discuss with you ways to boost your creativity. Or at least give you something to do while you’re staring off into Space waiting for those Greek Sisters to whisper inspiration in your ear… Go freshen up your coffee. Smoke if you got em. It’s okay, I’ll wait…

What is Free Association?

Free Association is a psychology term that described the mental process by which one word or image may spontaneously suggest another without any apparent connection.

This is a powerful tool to master because if you can do this at will, and you can, you will unlock an unlimited supply of potential story ideas.

How do I utilize Free Association?

It’s probably one of the easiest techniques to master because you do it every day. Have you ever looked at an object and gotten a random thought from it? Congratulations! You are free associating. Someone says something to you and you have a random thought about it? Same thing.

The key to Free Association is to turn off those pesky mental filters that force you to disregard or throw away those random thoughts for one reason or another. At least while you are creating. Although The Straitjacket Industry has been in decline for some time and creating jobs is important, you don’t want to end up a model for their latest Fall Fashion Line because you engaged the Vocal Circuit at an inappropriate time. Unless that’s what you’re going for, then by all means have at it. I personally look stunning in Charcoal Gray…hehe.


What about Dreams?

Dreams are the Mind’s way of preventing potential psychosis by playing out and eliminating elements of our subconscious. I believe that Dreams also are a form of Free Association because one element (at least in mine) tend to create others which propel everything forward until the alarm clock rings. I had a dream last night where I was doing something with a group of people near an old gold mining town that was literally built on both sides of an old stream that ended at a waterfall. I thought it was both unusual and cool at the same time because someone was telling me the history of Fountain, Pennsylvania in 1850 where the townsfolk wanted to save money on sluice gear by allowing the waterway to do the work. I had to admit that panning for gold on Main Street would be an intriguing prospect, but I wasn’t surprised to discover that the town had failed because there wasn’t enough gold found to maintain the local economy.

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed our little discussion today on Free Association and if you have suggestions for future topics, please let me know in the Comments Section. 🙂