Oblique Strategy Cards For Writing Inspiration?
Stuck in a rut creatively? Have you exhausted all techniques advised by the great and the good? Or perhaps you’re faced with a dilemma with no clear path to take? Have you tried looking at some Oblique Strategy cards? It could be useful.
I say ‘could be’, as I have not used them constructively so I cannot give any feedback on how effective they are, though they sound intriguing.
The idea behind the cards was the brainchild of two artists, the much revered Brian Eno and the painter Peter Schmidt. They created these cards as a result of their experiences working as artists under pressure and with deadlines. They found the pressures inevitably placed shackles on their creative output and so they decided to try to look for ways to free this up
The idea is that you pick a card when you need inspiration. And then it is over to you; you interpret the card however you wish. Of course, the cards are cleverly designed to open up your mind and options. The first cards were produced in 1975 and there are five editions to date, proving popular all over the world.
I don’t own a set but the cards can be sampled via the following website:
I instantly liked these three cards: ‘Not building a wall but making a brick’, ‘Your mistake was a hidden invention’ and ‘Listen to the quiet voice’. But of course, they would have to be applied to a particular sticking problem and therefore may have a different resonance.
I will give them a go one day as part of a new creating process where I see a no-through road, as they do sound like potential pathfinders for fresh ideas. For artists, another angle can create so many opportunities.
If you’ve used them, would love to know what you think.