“Take the action and the insight will follow.”
–Anne Lamott, author (The Musician’s Way, p. 107)

Suppose that you want to start a creative project – compose a solo, write a song, design a logo, or whatever.

You’ve done your research and set aside time to work.

Do you typically dive into such projects, or do you tend to procrastinate?

If you avoid tackling creative tasks, take heart. Countless people find it difficult to act on their creative ideas.

I’ve learned, however, that by understanding particular steps in the creative process, we can all become more confident creators.

Here’s a snapshot of a 4-part framework that I use to help people create productively.

1. Invent
Once you set an attainable goal, invent a small but cohesive portion of material without judging the quality of your work. Freely write, sketch, outline, or improvise. Be playful, and let your ideas flow.

2. Evaluate
Consider the appealing aspects of what you made, and then home in on things that might benefit from revision. Evaluate with an open-hearted curiosity as opposed to being judgmental. Then, pick something to revise.

3. Revise
Toy with possible revisions, being as experimental as you like. A revision could involve a minor tweak or the invention of new material. After executing your revision, evaluate the results, revise a few more times if you choose, and then accept the material as it is for now. Take a break, and then either invent another portion of material, or stop for a while to reflect.

4. Reflect
Think about your creative process; maybe jot down your thoughts in a journal. Identify which steps seemed most straightforward and any in which you encountered difficulties. At the same time, consider which creative tactics to use again and whether to try new ones. Set a goal and time for your next creative session, and then forget about your work for now, letting your mind incubate.

In sum, these four steps might play out as: Invent –> Evaluate –> Revise –> Evaluate –> Revise –> Evaluate. Reflect.

Want to polish your creative skills? Enroll in my low-cost online course 10 Steps to Lifelong Creativity. Also explore Chapter 14 of The Musician’s Way.

Related posts
Getting Started
How Not to Be Creative
Scamper to Higher Creativity
Ten Tips for Ongoing Creativity

© 2012 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © Horiyan, licensed from Shutterstock.com

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