Avoid mixing creation with evaluation

There are many modes of thinking your brain goes through when you are being creative.

One of the major thinking modes associated with creativity is the mode of creation. Through the creation mindset we’re able to connect ideas and experiences, imagine things never before seen, and solve problems with new solutions.

On the opposite side of the thinking spectrum is the mode of critiquing, or evaluation. When you’re critiquing you aren’t creating, you’re simply focused on fixing what’s already there.

In thinking, critique mode is the very opposite of creation mode. Yet our instincts tell us to mix both modes of thinking when we’re attempting to be creative. We evaluate a drawing as we sketch it out to ensure that each line looks right. We critique our writing as we see the words begin to form sentences and paragraphs, often stepping back to read and re‒read what we just wrote.

To be effective with your creativity you can’t mix creation with critiquing.

Creativity is primarily about creation, so focus on creating. Worry about the details after you actually have something finished. Your job as a creative thinker is to create and forget about limits or whether or not you’re doing it right or anything like that. Create, and then you can critique. Trying to do both at the same time is like trying to jump while at the same time attempting to sit in a chair.

Create, then critique.

Photo by Andy Mangold.