Over the past few weeks, we’ve been exploring a few different creativity styles.  Today, we’re looking at the fifth and final style, the Chameleon. Unlike the others, the Chameleon blends styles or switches styles the way some people swap hats. If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to take our creativity styles quiz. The quiz will help you determine if you have a very specific style, or if you’re more of a Chameleon. You’ll also learn more about how you approach different kinds of challenges. The point of taking the quiz and exploring your creative style isn’t to stuff yourself into a limiting box, but rather to understand why some strategies work better for you than others.

Today, let’s talk about the Chameleon.

 

Chameleons are adventurous and willing to try solving problems in new ways. Of all the styles, Chameleons are least likely to say, “I can’t!” Our resilient and resourceful Chameleons gain extra superpowers when they consider which hat fits best for the challenge at hand. Rather than being distracted by the many options available, their fine-tuned focus builds momentum and creative flow.

The Chameleon’s Strengths:

  • You’re flexible in your thinking and willing to try multiple approaches when solving problems.
  • When you hit a block, you nearly always find a way around.
  • You’re optimistic, energetic, curious, and eager to explore.

The Chameleon’s Weaknesses:

  • Since you don’t have set strategies that you always use, you can spend a lot of time choosing an approach before you even start solving a problem.
  • You may feel less clear about what works for you, and thus find yourself stumped when you hit a true block.
  • You may become frustrated trying to do things someone else’s way, rather than trusting your own approach or intuition.

Here are some efficient strategies that work well for Chameleons.

 At the Start of a Project:

  • Create a Map

Before you start working, take a few moments to decide how you’ll approach your project. Give yourself a simple series of steps that each feel fun. Do you like listing? Figure out how you can use a brainstormed list to start, and then continue to revise your list as you go through each step. Or, you might decide how you can make each step a game. By focusing your enthusiastic, beginning-of-project thinking on a map, you will have an idea of where to go and what to do once you’re knee deep in the project.

During Drafting:

  • Try Mixing It Up

Drafting can feel like day after day of the same. Keep things fresh for yourself by having two or three different approaches to drafting. Maybe you draft in three different places in your house, or maybe you have different warm-up routines. You can keep a sense of surprise for yourself by listing six different ways you might draft (locations, approaches, speeds) and then roll a dice to see what today’s writing session will look like.

While Revising:

  • Invent Two or Three Editor Characters

Keep your thinking fresh by stepping into the shoes of different personalities. One character might be highly attentive to detail, while another might love storyboarding and untangling plot snarls. Name these characters, and take on a specific persona as you work. In this way, you make revision into a game as you tap into different parts of your very intelligent mind.

When You Feel Stuck:

  • Identify Your Comfort Strategy

Before you get stuck, take some time to figure out the style that is most comfortable, cozy, or calm for you. You may be able to approach a problem from a variety of different angles, but when you’re tired, grumpy and in need of a warm cup of hot cocoa, what would truly help you move forward? Write down this strategy, noting any specifics. Will you invite a specific person to take a walk with you in your favorite park and brainstorm? Will you take out brightly colored post-its and pens and storyboard your problem out? When you’re stuck, you won’t feel creative and able to come up with an optimistic solution. Prepare ahead of time so you have this solution in your back pocket.

Try On Other Styles:

Experiment with the other styles to learn more about what works best for you.

 

Most Chameleons are a mix of two or maybe three of the other styles. It’s rare for someone to be equally drawn to all four approaches. What you may find as you explore is that some strategies just don’t work for you. As a flexible thinker, you might feel as though that’s a challenge to tackle. You should be able to do all things well, in all ways, right? When it comes to the creative process, the most important thing is finding a way to show up and to take steps forward. Give yourself permission to develop your own style, your blend of these personalities that works best for you.

So what do you think?

Are you a Chameleon? If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to take our creative styles quiz to learn more about the way you think. We’ll also send you an Inklings Starter Kit with more strategies and ideas to help you play to your unique strengths.

Are you a Chameleon? Take the creative style quiz to understand why some strategies work better for you than others.