Skill Level Intermediate
- In the last installment of this series, I said that this week we were going to look at the critical moment where all creative thought begins. There is a simple cartoony representation of that critical moment. I'm talking, of course, about the light bulb moment. However, the cartoons don't actually have it completely right because in the cartoon version, the great creative thought is very obvious. Sometimes it even comes with a sound. (chime reverberating) In the real world though, the light bulbs are not always so noticeable. In the last episode, I said that I do not believe that there are creative people and non-creative people. Everyone is creative. The difference is that some people have a better ability to hear that light bulb going off. There are a lot of words and phrases that have been used to describe when the bulb goes off. A creative spark, a big brainstorm, visitation from the muses. I like to call the very beginning germ stage of creative thought an impulse because I think there's power in that word. The fact is the big creative ideas or solution usually does not come to you fully formed. And you've probably experienced this. You think you've had a great idea, and then you look at it further and realize that there's still a lot of work to be done. The reason that I like the word impulse is because sometimes that big creative moment doesn't actually light up the world like a light bulb. Instead, it's just a sense that you need to move in a particular direction. And by move, I mean think, explore, feel. Sometimes the creative impulse is not actually an idea. Sometimes it's just an intuition that something interesting might lie in a particular direction. The problem with these impulses is that they're very fragile and sometimes they're very quiet. The difference between the person with the great creative output and the person without is that the person with is more attuned to their impulses and they know how to foster them and follow them without breaking them. Learning to do that is the key to becoming more creative. That tiny moment then is what we're going to spend the next few weeks exploring with the goal of getting you more acquainted with it, helping you become aware of how you stifle those impulses, and possibly giving you some ideas about how to improve your relationship with your own creative impulses.