I love to write, and I’m really lucky that I’m actually paid to tell stories about our product, users, and employees. I also serve as the resident Grammar Policewoman in the office, which delights me immensely. While I haven’t gotten anything very substantive published yet, I love writing and acting in my spare time (as do several other StumbleUpon employees). Stumbling sites about writing, creativity, group brainstorms, and improvisational theatre help me improve in all aspects of work and play that I do every day. Hopefully these sites will spark inspiration in you too!
Whether you’re a writer for a hit TV show, the head of creative on an advertising project, or a teacher trying to keep the attention of 30 first-graders, you’re going to have to tell a good story at some point, if not over and over again. Tips aimed at writers are great for any kind of storytelling or presentation:
- Never Underestimate the Power of a Great Story – This ad from the French premium television channel CANAL+ is brilliant in its buildup and final punchline. The audience just feels smart after watching this!
- Tips for Writers, From Writers – I stumbled upon this one day at work (and later read its follow-up) and couldn’t keep my eyes off of it for an hour. (Don’t tell my boss.) It’s just one pearl of wisdom after another!
- 12.5 Writing Rules – Simple and motivational tips to keep in mind and maybe even post on your wall.
- Dumb Little Writing Tricks That Work – Some tips for getting your creative writing hat on. Also worth checking out is the site where this was posted called http://www.gointothestory.com, authored by an LA screenwriter.
Even in your everyday emails and memos, simple writing tools and tips like these can help a lot:
- Cliche Finder – Paste a block of text in this tool and it will highlight which phrases are cliched. Try it with company e-mails! :)
- Synonym Finder – Break your word routines with this tool.
- Pilot Handwriting – Wouldn’t it be cool to write emails in your own handwriting?
Here at StumbleUpon, we’re constantly coming up with creative ideas and strategies as we blaze trails (I should have used the cliche finder on that one…). Take a look at these sites if you or your team’s ever blocked for ideas:
- Making Ideas That Really Happen – This talks about how each stage of the brainstorming process can require a different approach and maybe even a different room.
- Creative Thinking Techniques – This is basically a manual of different brainstorming exercises you can try if you ever need to come up with ideas as a group. A long but fascinating read.
- Cures for Writer’s Block – When you’re blocked, go here for some exercises and wisdom from writers who’ve been there.
Improvisational theatre can be a great way to improve your confidence, poise, public speaking skills, and even your relationships. At the very least, it’s fun.
- How to Improvise – A basic, comprehensive overview of how to get started and some important “rules” to remember.
- Whose Line is it Anyway: Three-Headed Broadway Star - Who can resist Whose Line Is It Anyway? Watch this when you want a laugh.
- PowerPoint Karaoke – I just stumbled upon this and it sounds like a fun thing to try in a meeting – pull up a random deck and try to present it!
Explore Box Queries
To find more sites about sparking creativity in yourself and others, type these and related queries in the Explore Box:
- Creative Writing
- Writing Circle
- Improvisational Theatre
Thanks for reading! Feel free to post any other sites you visit to get inspired in the comments section.