Oblique Strategies

September 17, 2005

As creative professionals we are often forced to be creative. I've always found that creativity does not come naturally, you can't be forced to be innovative. Additionally we are also often tasked to solve difficult problems, where the solution is not easy to come by. So how to you stoke creativity?

Oblique Strategies was originally developed in 1975 by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt as a deck of cards with sayings that help you think differently about your problem. When you get stuck with writers block, or in the middle of an algorithm, or with an empty canvas you pick out a card and hopefully get stoked.

I've never owned a deck of the cards, but someone has built a dashboard widget for Oblique Strategies. You simply click on the widget and it shows you a card at random.

Here are some examples of oblique strategies:

  • Retrace your steps
  • Abandon Desire
  • Don't stress one thing more than another
  • Voice your suspicions

There are over one hundred worthwhile dilemmas in the widget for your creative enjoyment.

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great! thanks!
Before I start, just wanted to say that I have always loved your site. You're the first blogger that I ever bookmarked (this was many months ago). There are precious few ColdFusion developers that I feel I can actually learn from. I'm looking forward, actually, to the days where you had more technical articles on the guts of ColdFusion, java integration, etc. that was not the stuff the average developer would know. Anyways, the actual reason for my post is that you have a double-negative in your second sentence that says the opposite of what you probably meant. "I've always found that creativity does not come unnaturally..." Just thought you'd like to know. You probably meant to say that "creativity does not come naturally." You actually said that "creativity comes [pretty] naturally."
Thanks Sunny both for the correction and your comments! I'll update the post. And stay tuned I have a few cool CF java posts in the works.

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