Live in the problem: "Frame Storming" to come up with creative solutions

I am quick to come up with a solution for every problem. Are you?

I'm so quick that I often regret not thinking it through. Usually that's when I send an email too fast or fire off a text that I regret. 

I do this because I don't like to be uncomfortable and it's a defense mechanism to keep control.

But as I get older and have learned, (well okay been forced) to slow down I have started to enjoy living in the problem. 

Okay, let me restate that- I don't enjoy it. I don't love the feeling of not knowing an outcome right away. But I do see how giving a problem some space and time will make for a more creative solution in the end.

Although you may give up some control over the immediate outcome of the problem, if you can practice being in the "murkiness" your mind will begin to work out a way out of the problem. At least that is what's supposed to happen.

How can we apply this to creative life?

I'm currently trying to write the opening scene of a new show and it has not come to me yet. I have a loosey goosey image in my head of what I am heading towards. I would refer to it as a word cloud. Maybe a better image is a feelings cloud?

Regardless, I have lots of ideas floating about with no format.

My first instinct is to outline it, forcing myself to write out the beats moment to moment and just force the outcome.

This time, however, I think I'll try something else.

Have you heard of "FRAME STORMING"?

It's a version of brainstorming. Rather than generating new ideas, however, the focus is on generating new questions. Professor Tina Seelig of Stanford's D. School popularized this idea. 

Asking questions will force your brain to focus on what you don't know, rather than what you already know. Reframing a question helps you to see the opportunity in the problem.

In order to live in the problem longer and start asking question you need to have confidence that your subconscious mind will eventually work out a solution.

I'm gonna give it a try. Tonight I will write down 20 questions that I want to answer within my opening scene. This will most likely generate other questions and lead me to places I hadn't thought about.

Tomorrow, I'll let you know what questions I start asking my problem. I'll also let you know what my problems say in return.

They may just come up with a solution.


Molly BellComment