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Effectiveness in the Creative Process Results More from Consistent Work Than From “Inspiration” February 28, 2007

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in The Creative Process.
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The ability to generate creative ideas and solutions depends more on consistent application to a field of activity than it does on isolated flashes of intuitive insight.

In the personal development journey, creativity can play a strong component in a variety of areas: achieving goals, implementing the Law of Attraction, forming intentions, manifesting, using visual, spoken, or written affirmations, getting organized, improving our work and our relationships, and much more.

The key to creativity, however, and this is a personal view, does not rest on an innate talent of “being creative.” Resourcefulness, which is a form of creativity, might seem to be inborn in certain individuals, and perhaps it sometimes is.

But the rest of us can become more resourceful, by using tools such as utilizing the thought process in new ways, as explained, for example, by Edward de Bono, who has written excellent books on thinking more creatively through the lateral thinking process.

Creativity can be learned. It might help to have a gigantic IQ, and be a literal storehouse of information, but as Einstein has pointed out, imagination is more important than knowledge. Also, it is a mistake to think of creativity as being dependent upon “inspiration” which, loosely defined, is some kind of wave of emotional intensity coupled with thought, that pushes us into a creative ‘mode’ in whatever sphere we are trying innovate within.

Creativity rather, comes more often from continuously working on something, or as Edison has said, in words to the effect, that most of his inventions came from perspiration rather than inspiration. An artist, such as a painter, for example, cannot be truly creative unless they have paid their dues in learning and applying the various techniques that have arisen through the ages in painting. Nor are they likely to create a new movement or force in painting unless they are thoroughly familiar with all that has gone before.

Most important, however, is that a painter will find that creativity comes mainly from doing a lot of painting. The same applies to writing. If you love poetry and want to write it, you’ll find that the more you write, the more creative ideas, or new ways of expressing yourself,  you will come up with.

Again however, it is important for the aspiring poet to understand the underlying forms of poetry and what has preceded them in the writing of poetry. In other words, those who want to be poets need to have read a lot of poetry and to have written a lot of it before they are likely to have truly innovative or creative concepts in their work.

This makes creativity sound a lot like work. And I think that’s true. The best way to create, such as in the area of personal development, is to work at it. The current fascination with the Law of Attraction for example, is with some people, leading to a misconception that it is as simple as making declarations to the universe and then waiting for virtual miracles to unfold. This expectation shows a lack of understanding of the Law of Attraction and the creative possibilities available by working at it.

Creativity comes to the surface in any endeavor when we put in the work. Waiting for “inspiration” in order to create can be an enjoyable state of mind, but it is not a substitute for work in the creative process. The more we do of anything, the more we are likely to come up with novel or innovative ways of accomplishing things, including our personal development goals.

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