Personal Experiment 7: Planting Seeds in My Idea Garden

Xue Zing
5 min readJul 24, 2021
Image from Unsplash by Markus Spiske

Similar to Personal Experiment 5, this concept was used to improve overall creativity since the previous one didn’t meet the goals.

Creativity is still one of the most important aspects in life.

As a writer, I need a constant flow of ideas and concepts before I can put it down to paper.

As a person in the workforce, I hope to be able to provide creative solutions to problems.

As an individual, I aim to be creative in my life, hoping to live life my own way, different from the rest.

In the previous Personal Experiment, the goal of improving creativity and flexing that idea muscle was not met.

Hence, this is an experiment with the same goal but taking a different approach.

Awareness of the problem

The same thought from the previous experiment was still echoing in my head.

Can we train to be creative?

Despite the previous failure, I still believe we could train our idea muscle.

It was just that the previous training program didn’t suit me.

Just like how people became more spontaneous joining improv classes.

I was confident that people could be trained in creativity. It wasn’t just something people were born with.

Then I stumbled across this article by Charlie Gilkey introducing the concept of an idea garden.

He mentions that most writers find it the tough to generate ideas during the early stages which he calls the incubation and preparation period.

The idea is like a seedling at that time. It could just be a word or a thought, hastily scribbled down.

Sometimes we need to let it grow by putting more thought into it.

But just like seedlings, some ideas don’t grow very fast. Maybe it could be due to the lack of life experience or maybe due to lack of research or reading on the topic.

Hence, we should plant it in our idea garden first before we forget about it.

Xue Zing

Writing about thought provokers that go against conventional self-help