I’ve often wondered how people can do ‘structured’ creative thinking and come up with ideas on demand, because I find that my inspiration comes when I least expect it and when I’m nowhere near a pen to write things down – like when I’m driving, washing my hair, or brushing my teeth.
If someone demanded a brilliant idea from me at knifepoint I doubt I’d be able to deliver, because creative thought somehow deserts me when I’m under pressure.
Yet this is the way the creative brain is meant to work, according to an article New Insights on the Creative Brain in Psychology Today.
The secret to creativity is not thinking and thinking and forcing a thought to emerge, but to set the intention and let it go. The unconscious mind will then do all the work for you.
The article highlights the four classic stages of creativity:
- Define the problem and ask questions no-one else would think of asking.
- Immerse yourself fully in the problem and amass sources of information.
- Relax and let it all go – and wait for the creative solution to emerge.
- Execute the solution.
However, the author suggests stages one and three are the crucial ones that lead to that A-ha! moment; that accessing of the unconscious mind where dreams, metaphors and images are stored in a deliciously creative melting pot.
So, if you’re seeking a creative surge, don’t hold on tight. Just let it go and trust what comes up.