Inspiration and Creativity

“Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one we have.”

~ Emile Auguste Chartier

Mind MapSometimes I hang onto an idea for dear life, as if it’s the only one I have. This idea, that I think is so fabulous can hold me back from discovering something new.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this? You’re working away in your creative space, exploring new ideas and methods, when you suddenly find yourself in what you think is a flash of divine, creative inspiration. Eureka!

These ideas are the hardest ideas to let go of, but sometimes I’ve found it necessary so that I can develop beyond the gestation stage of the creativity process and develop a project fully.

James Webb Young wrote A Technique for Producing Ideas. It’s a 48 page book (tiny really, more like a manual) on the process of producing ideas.

He writes about the first three steps being the process of gathering material and of the mind exploring specific and general information. The fourth stage is the mental digestive process, which is the incubation stage. And the last stage of putting together all the pieces.

James Webb Young wrote about the exploration process. Twyla Tharp wrote an interesting perspective as well.

The famous choreographer Twyla Tharp wrote The Creative Habitwhich explores ideas around creative habits and the process of discovery through ritual and consistent practice.

Sometimes, as artists we get stuck. It could be at any stage of discovery and exploration, such as the blank canvas or page, the idea that becomes precious, or the lack of habit and ritual around making time to create.

These are challenges that all professionals face, especially those that are solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, freelance professionals and artists.

What are your challenging moments?

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7 thoughts on “Inspiration and Creativity

  1. Nice post. My most challenging moments are the “what’s the way forward with my work” moments. Inspiration is essential to feeling committed to a project, but like you said, if you only have one idea it might not be the right one. Letting go of the only idea we have can be very difficult.
    Great post… Sorry for waffling 🙂

  2. Thought provoking post. I have a bad habit of coming up with multiple ideas instead of just sticking and working through one idea.

    • I hear you… I have the same problem. I get side tracked with trains of thought and mental connections. I think that’s why I write everything down when I’m working through an idea. I use post it notes and index cards and then stick them on my wall. It’s like having a visual dialogue with myself and it helps me stay focused on one thing at a time.

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