I love questions. Because they remind us of how much is still unanswered, how much we still get to explore. Questions are reminders of possibility, wonder, hope, new expeditions and experiments. As Stuart Firestein writes in his fantastic book, Ignorance: How It Drives Science, “One good question can give rise to several layers of answers, can inspire decades-long searches for solutions, can generate whole new fields of inquiry, and can prompt changes in entrenched thinking.”
A few days ago, we talked about the two questions Cheryl Strayed asks her writing students: “What’s the question at the core of your work?” and “What question are you trying to answer for others?”
In other words, our creative work is an exploration. It is a deep dive into uncharted seas, tunnels and caves: pain, uncertainty, fear, overwhelm, relationships, identity. In that post I shared sample questions you might want your creative work to examine. Today, I’m sharing additional questions. A wide range of questions.
When you need inspiration or direction, you might pick a question and use any medium—writing, painting, playing an instrument, singing, photography, dance, collage—to study it.
- How is technology changing us?
- How it technology changing me?
- How do I remain playful during a challenging time?
- How do I sit with someone else’s pain?
- What is play?
- What is creativity?
- How do we connect to ourselves?
- Where do I feel my depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder? How does it manifest?
- How do we reduce the stigma of mental illness?
- What is a soul?
- Where does joy reside?
- What does it mean to be human?
- What does it mean to be a parent?
- What does it mean to be a partner?
- How does music affect us?
- What is home?
- Where is home for me?
- Am I worthy?
- Do we earn love?
- What is a happy childhood? What does it look like?
- How do we come to terms with being flawed?
- What is my relationship with God?
- How do we trust ourselves?
- What does creativity look like after a big transition—after becoming a mom or dad, after losing a loved one, after getting a new job, after moving to a new city, after turning a certain age…?
- How do secrets affect us?
- What does it mean to live a fulfilling life?
- How does rejection feel?
- What makes up my identity?
- How do I define “beautiful”?
- What is melancholy?
- What makes me laugh?
- What takes my breath away?
This isn’t about finding the answer or even any answers. Rather, it’s about playing with questions. Seeing a question from different perspectives. Examining a question with a magnifying glass. Then zooming out a few—hundred—miles. Picking it apart, like a puzzle, and leaving the pieces all over the place.