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What I Learned from Haz Said, Writer and Unicyclist

Haz Said
Haz Said

I get inspired with a little help from my friends

I am always so incredibly impressed with my friends and acquaintances. I like to observe how creativity manifests through them. What I learned from Haz Said, writer and unicyclist, is inspiring.

The truth is, we are all similar beings. We may have slightly different genetics and stories about how our lives began and progressed (and, no doubt, how they will end), but we are all capable of expressing, if we take the time and have courage. It can begin for you by writing a self-addressed love letter,  making a ‘don’t look doodle,’ or using collage.

But maybe what you really need are some real-world examples of people who are using creativity to enrich their lives. Thus begins my series of interviews with inspirational people–maybe someone like you.

Haz is a canuck born in Cairo, Egypt. Haz spends his time in southwest Colorado and Toronto, Canada. He works on branding, marketing communications, and social media, but devotes a lot of his time to fishing, biking, mushroom picking, playing racquetball, and writing. I started my friendship with Haz in Durango, Colorado when I helped him to coordinate an outdoor movie series the Durango Discovery Museum at the Powerhouse on the banks of the Animas River.

Interview

What is your background and history with writing?

English was always my favorite subject in school, though I graduated in economics and political science. I started writing, editing, and proofreading for ad agencies in my 30s, after a career in technology where many of my clients were ad agencies. I also picked up short fiction and poetry writing again in my 30s.

What kind of writing do you enjoy most?
I most enjoy writing for new businesses–helping them clarify their visions and develop their brands. I really enjoy naming new products and services.
And for the tactile/experience: What materials do you use to write? Computer, pen and pad, typewriter, etc,?
I use it all. Mainly keyboards, lots of pens and notebooks. Sometimes chips, dip, and countertop.
Can you give me a quick set of instructions for the ‘ideation’ techniques that you use?
I use a few approaches to generate ideas:
1. I developed a word game and I’ll use the words that result from a game (left hand vs. right) in a “forced association” exercise; i.e. take a word like “sleet” and associate it with the problem you’re working on. Amazing trajectories often result.
2. Systematic Inventive Thinking. It’s an alternative to traditional brainstorming.
Werdz, A Game from HM Said
Werdz, A Game from HM Said
Pair words from the game with a topic you are working on, using ‘forced association’.

Ex. I’m writing a haiku on spring. The game provides the words above and my result is:

Fox opens the lid
Spring rushes forth, winter hides
Bibs on kits tied fast

Are there people, places, traditions, circumstances or things that inspire you?
I get a lot of inspiration sitting in hotel lobbies, walking through art galleries, sitting in bars with views of busy streets, during the morning shower, and during the distracted moments in meditation.
Anything else?
Yes. Unicycles and ramen. Thanks for asking.

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