I’m dug in and fighting my way through this year’s NaNoWriMo, bleeding out my 1,667 words a day as I make my way through a draft of the final volume of a ridiculously large project. Here are a couple observations on starting a new project and building positive creative inertia.
1. Now that you’ve finished all the fun brainstorming stuff, you’ve got to sit down and start grinding. At first it hurts like hell; you want to find something fun and distracting in order to put off the initial pain. But this is only resistance, and resistance must be defeated at every turn.
2. After a few days of hitting it hard, you get in the groove and the magic happens; your project begins to take shape, sometimes in unexpected ways, and the work itself, the work you first wanted to avoid, becomes its own reward.
3. Later you realize that you’re in the groove and good ol’ flow has stopped by for a visit or two. (Intrinsic rewards are a key condition for flow).
On to the links:
- Here’s a cool infographic entitled 9 Steps for Creative Problem Solving. While the focus is on product development in a business environment, you could use it as a roadmap for just about any creative project.
- While we’re on the subject, here’s an overview of the different models of creativity.
- Incubation is a vital part of the creative process; sometimes it looks like procrastination, other times it just looks like the actions of an eccentric. Here’s an article (itself stuffed with links) on developing creativity by staring out the window.
- Copyblogger has a good article up on Meditation and the Art of Writing. In my own experience, even a short meditation session helps the words flow a little easier.
- Scientific American recently ran a somewhat fluffy article called Answers In Your Dreams. To quote:
“Research is beginning to suggest that dreams are simply thought in a different biochemical state…This unusual state of consciousness is often a blessing for problem solving—it helps us find solutions outside our normal patterns of thought.”
photo credit: caseymfox