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.
Published 18 October 2014
Kevin McGillivray is a web developer, writer, and teacher from Wisconsin. He writes about creativity, mindfulness, code, and tea.