When we’re looking for a way to systematically be inspired, we’re really just looking for an assured thing.
But creativity isn’t a guarantee, and we should never try to make it one.
When we try to make a process out of generating ideas, of stumbling on solutions, or of discovering insights, what we’re really doing is setting ourselves up for the same ideas and the same answers. You can’t expect to get something different from conducting the same process.
While you may have circumstances and processes that work to help you feel creative or inspired–habits that do produce creative results–you’re likely overlooking more unique and potentially valuable insights by sticking to them.
Creativity simply isn’t assured, and whenever we try to make it seem that way we’re defeating its purpose entirely.
Finding a process or pattern for generating ideas feels good, it feels productive, and at some level it can be. But attempting to make creativity an assured thing means we’re also overlooking the point of it to begin with: to discover the unknown, the things we would have otherwise overlooked or never considered.
Easier said than done, of course, as our brains function as pattern-recognizers. When given an incomplete picture (or when something blocks just a small part of our vision) our brains try to fill in the gaps, for example.
This helps underline the importance of courage in the creative process.
But we don’t have to put everything on the line for creative insights either. When it comes to ideas, a little bravery goes a long way. Trying new things, exploring small changes in your behavior, can be all you need to glean new insights.
I guess really that’s the guarantee for creativity: trying something that’s not guaranteed.