The Importance of Flexible Thinking

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In this post, GrubStreet instructor Ben Berman discusses how learning to think flexibly can help us be more creative.



Flexible thinking refers to our ability to shift or reframe how we are thinking about an idea.

When psychologists measure one’s aptitude for creativity, they often focus on this aspect of thinking. How many uses can you find for a brick? they ask, before grading the responses based on fluency, originality, flexibility and elaboration.

August 14, 2019 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice The Writing Life

The Art of Overhearing

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Take a sharpie away from my three-year-old and she will invoke Whitman, will begin sounding her barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.


But plop her on the toilet and the scene is much more reminiscent of the Romantics – as she ponders philosophical questions, her imagination wandering wildly and her intonations somewhere between speech and song.


January 11, 2017 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice The Writing Life

Duck, Goose

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I have spent much of the summer playing Duck, Duck, Goose.


Unlike the local kiddie pool, which is all chaos and concrete, Duck, Duck Goose offers us a balance of mayhem and order, conflict and resolution. And in doing so, the game provides us with a glimpse into the foundations of narrative.


Everyone sits calmly in a circle, as one child walks around tapping the others on their head, chanting, duck, duck, duck, until a well-timed goose leads to a great chase

August 13, 2015 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice