There is a lot of value to just dumping a bunch of stuff on a table and seeing what emerges after you play for a while.

When kids do these kinds of crafts, it’s good messy fun – I’ll put a bunch of paper, markers, glue, paint, randomly-shaped bits of scrap wood, plastic thingies, and whatever else on the table and just let them go nuts. At some point, there’s a rainbow-colored frog or a sort-of firetruck or something. That wasn’t what they set out to make, of course. They just played, and at some point their play started to look like a frog so they went with it.

As adults, you can do that in the artistic sense, but it’s also a great strategy when you have a lot of information and/or resources but you don’t know what you want to make yet. Just start playing in there. Write stuff, move things around, and soon it might start to look like something. When it does, polish it and see.

The “dump everything on the table and go” strategy has a lot of merit – and it’s better than endlessly deliberating when you already have a lot of stuff to use. Just get crafty.

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