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How to Spark Curiosity (And Discover Your Next Big Project) by Rochelle Melander

March 29, 2016


Note From Rochelle

IMG_3065Dear Writers,

Happy Spring!

I’m off this week—spending my time spring cleaning, visiting art museums, and reading. I’ll be treating the whole week as a creative scavenger hunt—a chance for me to explore new ideas and goals.

If your writing goals—or writing—need a bit of spring energy, think about taking a creative scavenger hunt. It’s the topic of today’s tip—and one of my favorite activities!


Happy Writing! Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach



Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear.


How to Spark Curiosity

(And Discover Your Next Big Project)

by Rochelle Melander


Creativity is a scavenger hunt. It’s your obligation to pay attention to clues, to the thing that gives you that little tweak. The muses or fairies—they’re trying to get your attention. —Elizabeth Gilbert (Read more here.)


Did you read the quote? According to Gilbert, being creative requires that we pay attention to those inner tweaks. When our curiosity is hooked, we feel like we must follow the urge to discover more, no matter where it takes us.



Recall the last time that happened to you and hold onto that feeling. THAT’S the spark you want to have when you’re starting a new writing project. Curiosity will hook you at the beginning of a project and keep you writing when you’re tired, sick, and not making enough money!


So this week, I want you to treat your life like a scavenger hunt. Here’s how it will work. Recall that feeling of being curious. Got it? This week, you’re going to pay attention to everything that tweaks your curiosity, both in your daily life and in small adventures. Each time something sparks your curiosity this week, write down what piqued it. Pay attention wherever you are—at the gym, in the car, or even washing the dishes—because the muse is always at work, trying to get your attention.


Now onto the adventures! Spring is one of my favorite times of year to go hunting for surprises, because nature provides so many gifts. Here are a few places to hunt:


Take an online tour

Go to a site where other people have collected lots of fun things and browse. Here are a few places I like.


To the right of the search bar, click on the little box with lines in it; a big menu will open up. Click on everything or a specific topic that’s interesting to you, and browse. You can also search for something specific. I like to search for places I’ve never visited or topics that are new to me.


Just left of the center STUMBLE button, choose All Interests or a specific category. Once you’ve chosen a category, click stumble until you hit something that interests you.


Last week, I found a course about Wisconsin artists led by my local art museum through Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) on YouTube. Choose a site from RefSeek’s list of free educational video sites and then browse until you find something that tweaks your curiosity.


Take a real tour

+Go to somewhere that collects lots of information and ideas, like a library, museum, or bookstore. I also like second hand stores, flea markets, and hardware stores. Browse until you get that zing!

+Visit a factory, school, cathedral, or call a local sightseeing company and take a tour.

+Wander around your neighborhood or a new neighborhood, following only your curiosity. See what happens.

+Take a day trip to a town close by and wander until you find something intriguing.

+Find a park and let your curiosity take a hike!



Once you’ve paid attention for a week or so, take a look at your notes.


+What do you still feel curious about? Write down as many questions as you can.


+When you looked at your list, what themes emerge?


+What ideas for projects show up?


+What project do you want to follow up on?




Select the project that both sparks your curiosity and promises to keep you engaged.


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