If you’ve ever tried writing a grant, proposal, cover letter, social media or podcast you’ll have likely encountered difficulties being creative. One approach to overcoming this is to use oblique strategies.
One of the things about grant, and proposal or thesis writing is sometimes, we need to get more creative. Not to necessarily make stuff up but to be creative in order to make the writing interesting. Even if you’re not in interested in being creating if creative in those pursuits, maybe you need to be creative on social media. There’s only so many ways you can tweet about how much do you like than articles? So,
I guess the question you might have for yourself is “How do I get more creative?”, “How do I make my articles more interesting?”. One of the ways that I’ve found the works, and others have found it work is what’s known as Oblique Strategies.
Oblique Strategies came about by two guys: Brian Eno, and Peter Schmidt. They created a series of cards called Oblique Strategies. Brian Eno was essentially a music producer. In order to help the musicians that he was producing become more creative and get through their creative barriers, he would create these cards, these activities for them in order to do the music with these restrictions in mind. At the same time, Peter Schmidt also came up with this idea of this idea of Oblique Strategies. He was a bit more creative from an artistic, from a drawing and writing perspective. So, they created these beautiful set of cards that are about constraining yourself. So essentially, what you can do is use these Oblique Strategies to make it different or difficult or put some barriers in place for when you write.
One of the things that I’ve seen a lot with strategic planning and also grant writing is that starting with a blank page. Essentially, anything is possible is really difficult because anything is possible but by using Oblique Strategies, you can restrict yourself. You can provide yourself some structure a bit of a barrier. A ring fence around which or within which you can build your grant or your article or your strategy.
Some of the famous examples of people using Oblique Strategies are the musicians that work with Brian. You know, such as U2, Coldplay, and David Bowie. But a really famous example of this is Dr. Zeus who in Green Eggs and Ham was challenged to only use 250 words. What Dr. Zeus actually did was only use 50 words in the whole book. So perhaps, the next time you’re having a bit of a struggle with what to write or how to write, why don’t you download the Oblique Strategies app. It’s free and follow some of the advice in there or some of the constraints in there and see how you go.
I hope this helps your writing.