The One Thing That's True About Creativity

The more I learn about the creative process, the more I realize one thing about it is true: for everything that you can say about creativity, the opposite is also true.

When it comes to the creative process, I’ve been trying to “figure it out” for a long time. I’ll read something or experience something and think, “Oh! So that’s how it works.” But then I read something else or experience something that contradicts what I just learned and I have to start over again.

Creativity doesn’t fit into the world of either/or, this or that. By nature it is contradictory and paradoxical, and that’s why it works the way it does. I think there are some guiding principles that can get you started, and some common, even universal, challenges that get in the way of creativity. But at a certain point, the rules break down and all you can do is stay alert, keep moving, and hold on for the ride.


Kevin McGillivray

Kevin McGillivray is a web developer, painter, and writer in Wisconsin. He writes about creativity, online and offline neighborhoods, and vegetables. He paints and dives.

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