How to Use the Prompts

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Updated July 28, 2022

You’re reading an excerpt of Creative Doing, by Herbert Lui. 75 practical techniques to unlock creative potential in your work, hobby, or next career. Purchase now for instant, lifetime access to the book.

Nine polyhedral shapes adorn the cover of this book. Mathematically speaking, there are an infinite number of possible polyhedral shapes—just as there are an infinite number of versions and variations of each piece of work in the creative process. Each new day creates an opportunity to make a new shape. It’s through making a lot of shapes that the ones you like start to emerge.

Each of this book’s 75 prompts will suggest an action, propose a new way of thinking about what’s in front of you, or tell you a story. It’s through this action, and ensuing ideas that your brain generates, that will allow new breakthroughs and insights to reach you.

The prompts are organized in nine chapters, each with a path that you can follow.

I’d recommend starting with Part I: Start the Creative Process, which will help you begin a new creative endeavor with the right mindset. You’ll put together your starting points—places where your work can develop from—and learn to let go of the expectations and outcomes you’d had in mind to open up to something even better. You’ll also learn how the creative process works through hands-on experience.

Part II: From Action Comes Progress, is all about, well, action—first, producing as much creative work as possible, then defining and practicing quality work, sharing your work, and soliciting and integrating feedback.

The prompts in Part III: Creative Purpose, will help you slow down and get back to basics, trust yourself, and have clarity of vision.

That said, these prompts can also be approached any other way. Jumping to a prompt you think will speak to where you are right now is a great idea. Prompts also reference and link to other prompts—you’re encouraged to choose your own adventure. Overall, and in any order, this book will encourage you to work within the many constraints that life presents, get other people involved with your work, improve your craft, experiment with new ideas and methods, and build a life rich through creativity, whether or not you choose to make it your full-time profession.

Here are some other starting points:

Set Up Starting Points22 minutes, 11 links

My observation is that the doers are the major thinkers. The people that really create the things that change this industry are both the thinker and doer in one person.Steve Jobs*

You probably think about doing more creative work a lot. At a certain point, it’s time to just pick up the brush and start painting. “Many people die with their music still in them,” physician, poet, and polymath Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. said. “Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.”

There is no right way to do creative work; the only wrong way is not to do anything. This chapter will help you get started.

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