Creativity Is Dead

Posted: July 6, 2011 in General Writing Tips, The Writer's Psyche

Last weekend, a friend invited me to the Fremont Zombie Walk, an annual event held just north of Seattle, Washington.

I have no idea what started this custom, nor who is behind it. But each Independence Day weekend, a community of people arrive made up as zombies and simply celebrate their own odd brand of creativity.

On the 4th of July weekend in 2010, the Seattle Zombie Walk earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most zombies in one place.

On Halloween 2010, a city in New Jersey stole the record by gathering 4,053 zombies.

So on July 2, 2011, Seattle tried to muster its zombie might and get the record back. My quick-n-dirty iMovie, below, shows some of the result.

The audio at the beginning isn’t as clear as I’d like, but the dialog goes like this:

Organizer: “Zombies! What do we want?”

Zombies: “Brraaaiinnnss!”

Organizer: “When do we want ’em?”

Zombies: “Brraaiinnnsss!”

What does this have to do with writing? Nothing directly, I suppose. But personally, I found the unleashed creativity inspiring. Someone set a general theme — “Be a zombie” — and people not only responded, but responded with every kind of style flourish imaginable. I saw zombie children. Zombie tourists. A zombie cheerleader. Zombie Elvis. Zombie Santa. Zombie Nun. Zombie Star Trek Crew. Zombie characters out of video games. Basically, if you’ve seen it in pop culture, there was a zombie version of it.

So, today you’re looking at a marketing piece, or you’re stuck on your novel or screenplay. Get playful. Tap into the creativity that flowed freely when you were a kid pretending. Take the creative challenge you’re facing and have fun with it. The creative juice is still in you.

C’mon. There’s no way the Dead have more creativity than you. Use your bbrrraaaaiinnnnnss!

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