The Writers Nexus

Remove The Bugs From Your Creative Process… A Look At Productive Flourishing

So I found the following article at ProductiveFlourishing.com and wanted to throw in my two bits on it.

I think the article is interesting and helpful, yet is a somewhat superficial analysis of the creative process.

I will say though, productiveflourishing.com has been around for a decade which is incredibly impressive.

10 years are dinosaur years on the internet. So they have some real cyber cred.

Their comments are first and…

My comments, about their comments, are below them in blue colored font.

Debugging Your Creative Process – Productiveflourishing.com

  • A Commentary

Understanding the creative process helps you start figuring out where your bugs are. My contention here is that everyone is capable of creative thought and originality, but some people are more creative because they’ve learned either how to let their process work or how to augment the creative process. Everyone else short-circuits their creative process.

Yes, I agree with this.

I should add a caveat here which some may find empowering and others may find frustrating. Intelligence and creativity are loosely related – some really intelligent people are not very creative, and some creative people aren’t all that intelligent in the way that we standardly view intelligence.

Creativity favors intelligence, but that has almost everything to do with two facts:

1) the more intelligent creative can prepare more quickly and more broadly than the less intelligent creative, and

2) the more intelligent creative generally has managed to secure employment that allows her more autonomy in her schedule.

I think this is a VERY important point. However, I believe greater creativity has more to do with awareness than intelligence.

In fact, I believe it could be argued that human beings do not have such wildly varying differences in intelligence, so much as they have wildly varying differences of awareness. That’s a whole separate issue that would take much longer than one article to get into.

So, I will just say this in response to the points above, the “more intelligent creative” can prepare more quickly because they are more aware of themselves and their preferences, limitations and available resources.

As well as, more physical time and money to pursue their creativity.

I believe that creativity has a large element of experimentation to it. However, that process always, starts with some type of thought process.

So even if someone does not have the time or money to physically pursue their creativity, they can certainly work on their creative visionary process at any moment.

In case you want numbers;

Most psychologists conclude that people with an IQ of 120 or above have plenty of potential to pursue creative thinking and lifestyles, and under that, they’ll struggle. There’s also very little correlation between education and intelligence, so don’t think you can’t be creative because you didn’t go to college or grad school. Some of the smartest people I know never attended college.

Ok… psychologists serve their purpose, but as far as creativity goes, ahhh let’s just say I could care less what they think.

I’ve found that most educational institutions are set up to dissolve a human being’s natural creative process not encourage it. ‘Nuf said.

In my experience and work with others;

The first two steps are where most people mess up their creative process. Part of preparation is working on things that interest you, and most people haven’t really sat down and figured out what interests and motivates them. This is especially true since our culture both exalts creatives and hates them at the same time and a lot of people haven’t found their creative outlet. They think either that they’re not creative or that creative pursuits are a waste of time.

There is a tremendous amount of truth in this above paragraph. It’s true that our culture seems to vilify and exalt artists willy nilly. Much of that appears to be determined by the size of their pay checks.

I do agree that many people may see themselves as not creative or their creative pursuits as a waste of time. I’ve gone through that exact process. I believe people get to this point for two reasons.

It’s a combination of societal values, as well as, our educational institutions. They are creatively sucking the life/creativity out of us. It’s very disappointing nonetheless and we must fight to get our creativity back and keep it alive.

Another area in preparation where many people go wrong is in not being aware of how social the creative process is.

 

Few great ideas come from a person sitting and thinking by herself – true, that’s part of the incubation phase, but the seeds are planted in the preparation phase.

Talking to people who are interested in the same things you are or who are just plain creative helps you become more creative, and this explains why creatives tend to be attracted to areas with a high density of other creatives. You have to balance creating, connecting, and consuming.

 

Yes and no. It is true that groups of similarly creative thinking people can inspire more creativity in each other and therefore more productivity. However, the creative process is internal and inherently independent to the individual.

In fact, many people prefer and need a lot of time alone to develop creative ideas.

There are a lot of examples of that. Einstein, Jackson Pollock, JK Rowling, Stephen King to name a few.

If someone needs a group to be “creative” then they are either not in touch enough with their own creative process or don’t trust it.

Also, as I discussed above, many people don’t let their ideas incubate.

 

Creatives have always spoken against working for someone else because doing so has a tendency to stop your own incubation process – when your boss tells you to change directions on a project or reassigns tasks, your incubation process is stunted.

Additionally, when you don’t understand that your well-being and employment depend on your ability to leverage your creativity, you’re less likely to take this important part of the process seriously.

Hint: The fact that you work for someone else has little to do with your creativity or the fact that you are employed due to your creativity.

I agree with their “Hint.”

It’s true that artists and highly creative individuals are very independent minded.

That’s because they’ve worked enough with their own creative energies that they trust them and have come to rely upon the results they produce.

The example they give of a boss asking you to suddenly change direction thereby stunting your “incubation” process is accurate.

Although for me, incubation means clarity. Nothing materializes without a clear vision. Otherwise things come out in incomplete stages that obviously haven’t been thought through.

So it’s true that when a boss or a teacher, coach, therapist, family member interfere with your thought process meant to clarify what you want to materialize…. then yeah, that’s a problem.

If it happens often enough over many years… it’s becomes a dis-ease in you. You lose contact with your own creative thought process. You forget or become disenfranchised from you’re own preferences and passions. That is the seed of dis-aster.

With these two phases of the process short-circuited, it’s no wonder that people aren’t manifesting their creativity.

It’s not because they don’t have the capacity to be creative, and it has everything to do with their creative process being buggy. Fixing the creative process is not that hard to do, and I’ll talk more about it in future posts.

For some, fixing the creative process can be easy if they know and understand themselves.

 

I would argue though that for some, fixing their creative process is very hard to do and for others it may be simple. Much of that has to do with how far away they are from knowing themselves and their own thinking process.

That’s what I got into a little bit above. Our creative perspective is inextricably linked with our own unique view point as individuals. If it isn’t, then our views are shaped based on a type of fascism.

Here’s something I want you to keep in mind and it’s why I’m so adamant about your understanding your creative process.

Understanding your own creativity is critical if you want to use it as your livelihood.  

 

Most of the influential creatives throughout history – including present ones – started with one really good idea.

The rest of their life was spent either working on that idea or living off of the fruit of that idea.

You may be incubating that great idea, or you may be one step away from it, and I want you to get it out so we can all enjoy it.

Ok… they say, “All it takes is one or two good ideas, well executed, for you to live the life of greatness.”

I say uhm… what? This sounds like a bad cliché even though there is some truth in it. I’d like to know what they think is a life of “greatness.”

What kind of life are they living? I hope it’s great. I just want to know their definition of a great life that comes from executing one or two good ideas well. It sounds so simple.

At the same time it feels like ‘sound bite’ psychology. The exact thing that hinders real actionable results from any type of advice. They are well meaning.

I just think living a great life has little to do with executing one or two good ideas. I could be wrong though….


We wish you many imaginative tales. We at The Nexus

Main writer’s site: thewritersnexus.com

Mixed Media Art site: seekcraft.com

Seekcraft on Instagram: @seekcraft1

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