We tend to look at creativity as a wild force that often eludes us but we can sometimes grasp and use to create amazing things. Tony Schwartz, president of The Energy Project, believes that when we're thinking creatively it's the result of a series of events, and when we know that series we can replicate it and think creatively whenever desired.
Title image by Mercedes.
Schwartz outlines the following four steps as necessary in the creative thinking process:
- Saturation: Once you know the creative task at hand, immerse yourself in similar work created by the masters and study it.
- Incubation: Walk away from the task and let it sit in your head for awhile so the right hemisphere of the brain can process the thoughts creatively.
- Illumination: Do something to break up your day. If you're at your desk, step away and go somewhere else. You likely get your best ideas away from your usual surroundings so put yourself in a new situation to let that "aha!" moment surface.
- Verification: Test your inspiration and create.
These steps are designed to immerse you in creative work and keep you from sitting at your desk, waiting for an idea to surface. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is this: creativity doesn't come from stagnation, so keep your mind moving and it'll yield better results.
How do you think creatively? Do you have a specific process that works for you? Let us know in the comments.
How to Think Creatively [The Atlantic]