We all need more art in our days, more creativity – not a few extra splashes of color, music to sing along with, or words that unlock shut doors in the mind (though we sure as hell need all those, too), but a functional process that allows the imagination to lift our ordinary efforts into sublime achievement. Fortunately, there are tools to help us do so.
Behind the Shroud of Mystery
Ask anyone employed at a startup, and I’m sure that they’ll tell you creativity is an essential component of success. Collaboration, invention, tinkering, discarding, innovating, tireless work, selfless dreams – these belong to any project. And while there are tools galore to better manage projects and communication, these tools are only helpful if we know where they are needed and how they might be of the greatest use.
Creativity is a lot more than a Eureka moment of inspiration. Scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs are making the creative process of journeying from nothing to creation more visible then ever before. So how does creativity work…?
I highly recommend watching the PBS video below in full. It’s an exhilarating exploration of how to be creative. It’s informative, it’s inspiring, and it will invigorate whatever project you’re working on – no matter what stage you find yourself laboring through – with newfound energy.
For those that can’t spare the time, here’s a brief summary of the four crucial stages of creativity:
- Preparation – learning serves as the foundation for work
- Incubation – walking away
- Illumination or Insight – fusion; connections reaching the threshold of consciousness
- Verification – crafting a message so it’s best received by people
In other words, learning serves as the foundation for work. We gather information, develop skills, etc. Then we walk away and allow our minds to incorporate learning. (Given that most of us who have come together here are highly self-motivated individuals, this step is so difficult. But our minds insist!) Our unconsciousness requires us to partially turn off while it builds associations that become those conscious, brilliant breakthroughs.
Work Is Fun!
Sorry, if you thought you were going to be given a get-creative-quick guide. We still need to role up the sleeves in order to make our ideas available to others. No skipping out on this step either. However, identifying where we excel and where we might strengthen our habits, helps us engineer a work flow that best suits us.
There’s no one way to go about tailoring the process. If you need an extra jolt of creative can-do, check out these routines of famous writers on BrainPickings.org, a website that’s a discovery engine for all things interesting.