Most creative processes are aimed at helping to bring about ideas or solutions in a relatively short time window. We often need an idea or solution quickly, and a process to help make that happen can be of value. However, short-term approaches don’t always deliver when needed.
Even though a given creative process is intended to accommodate a relatively immediate need, this can inherently exclude the time or focus the process requires to let the idea or solution fully unfold. There is most certainly room for improvement.
If you look at your own experience you may notice that you don’t always need a deliberate process to birth the strokes of creativity that you desire. General creativity and less common strokes of creative genius often seem to arise spontaneously, without any apparent process. This can happen at varying rates for everyone.
With a bit of a different approach that focuses more on the long-term, you can nurture yourself to become more creative consistently, having ideas and solutions flow to you effortlessly and whenever needed.
To help set the stage for this, there are two ways to look at creative processes:
- Immediate creativity: You need an idea or solution and you need it now, or at least in the near future.
- Sustained creativity: Creativity comes naturally, spontaneously, and when needed on an ever-increasing basis.
Immediate Creative Processes
There are creative processes that can be used to help with an idea or solution in the short-term. Let’s go through a couple of them to give you some extra tools for immediate creativity, as well as context for developing sustained creativity.
The Stages Of Creativity Approach
One common process for short-term creativity if often communicated as having a series of stages.
For example, one originally communicated by social psychologist Graham Wallas flows as follows:
- stage 1: preparation – research and brainstorming
- stage 2: incubation – letting your brain process what was researched and brainstormed to allow for new associations
- stage 3: insight – associations are made and “aha” moments arise
- stage 4: evaluation – conceptual validation of the idea or solution
- stage 5: verification – the idea or solution comes to fruition through action and creation
There is no doubt that this is a typical process that one undergoes, whether or not deliberate, to give rise to creative ideas and solutions. There is value in this approach, but it may take a long time for the stages to unfold, and time pressure itself can block the incubation stage and likelihood for insight to arise.
This process can be enhanced significantly by nurturing yourself to become more creative for the long-term.
The Key Drop Method
Another process to spur immediate creativity is one that Aristotle, Albert Einstein and Salvador Dali used.
- The “key drop” method harnesses your sleep to give rise to great ideas.
- Simply sit upright in a chair to go to sleep.
- Hold a set of keys in your hand extended over the arm of the chair.
- Right when you fall asleep your hand will relax, the keys will drop to the floor, and the noise will awaken you.
This process allows just enough time for your brain to go into a mode during which tons of associations are made automatically. These unique associations can bring about wonderful new ideas and solutions. The key drop method is sort of a jump-start for stage 2 & 3 in Graham Wallas’ process described above.
Short-term creative processes can work, but they can work better than what most people experience by nurturing yourself to become more creative all the time. Additionally, you don’t always have to go through a short-term, deliberate process to have ideas and solutions arise. They can arise spontaneously and without an order of stages of steps. They can flow to you at any time, anywhere. This is what can be cultivated within yourself.
How To Become More Creative All The Time
- Step 1 or 2: Let go of blocks to your awareness (i.e. useless thoughts and useless emotions) so that awareness comes to the forefront of your experience
- Step 2 or 1: Become aware of your awareness. Be aware that you are aware.
This simple process leads to deep relaxation and clarity. This is because useless thoughts and emotions are the ones that cause stress. By bringing your awareness to the forefront and letting go of useless thoughts and emotions, stress will decline and relaxation will increase. This leads to your brain having the freedom to most effectively process information and make associations never made before.
This is also why stage 2 & 3 in Graham Wallas’ process can work, but it’s also why it sometimes won’t work. If you try to go through stage 2 & 3 with a mind that is constantly occupied by useless thoughts and emotions, it can’t be free to allow the processing of associations to naturally take place.
You can use this process for short-term ideas and solutions. Meditation or mindfulness exercises can help you let go of thoughts and emotions in the moment and free your mind to make associations. This can help enhance the process with the 5 stages described above for ideas or solutions needed in the near term.
However, to become more creative all the time, you must have a consistently relaxed and clearer mind, with awareness occupying your experience more than useless thoughts and emotions.
This does not mean you can’t think or use thoughts as tools. Thoughts can still arise and help with the creative process. It’s when useless thoughts related to fear and uncertainty arise that the blocks are erected. These are usually habitual thoughts that we want to learn how to let go.
Video About Creative Processes To Become More Creative All The Time
This video will walk you through each of the steps in the circle diagram at the top of this post.
While the 2-step process described in this article and the infographic above is a simple one, it doesn’t mean that it’s quick or easy to get to the point of consistent creativity. However, with a little guidance you can get past your blocks to awareness and become aware of awareness itself to unleash the creativity that lies within you. The following articles can help with the process.
- How To Find Inner Peace And Reach Your Potential
- How To Control Your Mind From Unwanted Thoughts
- How To Let Go Of Fear
- How To Overcome Fear Of Uncertainty
- How To Find Yourself Through Awareness of Awareness
With time, you will get to a point where creative ideas will flow to you like a fountain. You won’t be able to stop ideas from arising. The perceived problem won’t be about how to get an idea, but that you have too many of them!