I’m conducting an experiment to see if I can become a better inventor. I don’t quite know how to measure success yet, and even if I did, I don’t know if I will be able to do this for long enough to measure it… but I’m willing to try.
It’s based on this video of Ray Bradbury I found on Brain Pickings 5 months ago. Although it’s about writing, I was inspired because he struck down the notion that writing is hard… or even work –
Anything you love, you do it. It’s got to be with a great sense of fun. Writing is not a serious business. It’s a joy and a celebration. You should be having fun with it. Ignore the authors who say “Oh, my God, what word? Oh, Jesus Christ…”, you know. Now, to hell with that. It’s not work. If it’s work, stop and do something else.”
I fell in love with the idea that you could enjoy every day, while making a living from it –
I’ve never worked a day in my life. I’ve never worked a day in my life. The joy of writing has propelled me from day to day and year to year. I want you to envy me, my joy. Get out of here tonight and say: “Am I being joyful?””
In the talk, he gives some exercises to do if you want to become a better writer, but I want to become a better inventor, so I’ve adapted his suggestions slightly –
His advice – Read one essay, one poem and one short story every night.
My adaption: Read about one famous invention, about one famous inventor, and research about an object in your surroundings every night.
His advice – Write one short story per week… so you can find your voice
Every week you’ll be happy – you’ll have done something… in a novel you don’t feel good – don’t know where you’re going… takes so long…
My adaption – Invent a solution to a problem per week… so you can see what types of problems you like to solve
His advice: Have FUN – if it’s not fun, then stop writing…!
My adaption: Have FUN – if it’s not fun, then stop inventing…!
So my experiment has begun to see if I can become a better inventor. Perhaps after the period of 6 months, I will have one semi-decent idea to run with. At the very least I will be exercising my invention muscles.
You can’t write for other people. You can’t write for the left or the right, this religion or that religion, or this belief or that belief. You have to write the way you see things.”
Likewise, I think you have to invent things that address the problems that you see in the world, in your life, in your day. You can’t just invent for other people. So let’s see if it works.
Surprise yourself… you don’t know what you’re going to do next!
You can see my invention attempts to make me feel safer as a female solo traveler in week 1 here.
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