If you are old enough to remember MacGyver, the first thing that comes to mind is his amazing ability to fashion new devices from just about anything. (Okay, maybe the amazing hair is the first thing that comes to mind, but that device thing is a very close second.) It's this ability that made the character of MacGyver a television legend.
At the core of every conflict was MacGyver's ability to use his creativity to solve a problem. Really, the guy could make a detonation device from a shoelace, some nail polish, and a can of green beans. One of the points I talk about a lot on this blog being able see everyday objects in a new way. MacGyver had an innate ability to see those everyday objects and create new relationships between with them.
What Would MacGyver Do?
As writers, relationships are the foundation upon which everything we write is build. Because characters exist in real world scenarios, the potential for the unexpected relationship exists in every environment in which a story is taking place.
If you were given seemingly unrelated items, could you fashion a coherent narrative from them? For instance, what would you do with a firefighter, a case of candy canes, and an impending tornado? Could you create a story from these three elements? I bet you could. And what's more is that the story I create from those three elements would be very different from the story that Kimberly might. And those would both be very different from the one that Kathryn would create.
This is the difference that is established by the inner creativity we bring to each relationships. Going beyond our normal patterns of perception and looking for relationships in everything is the first step in tapping creativity. And it doesn't matter if you are a writer, musician, painter, interior decorator, or programmer. It's when you find new meaning in relationships that your creativity flourishes.
Next time you find yourself in a creative rut, ask yourself: What Would MacGyver Do?