The Seven Stages of Creativity

Creativity is a mystery that we all try to pinpoint. And I really started to unfold this mystery with a quote that I open up my computer to every morning when I power it up and that’s: You can’t use up Creativity. The more you use, the more you have

– Maya Angelou

I have the last two sentences of this quote set up as a wallpaper on my computer and I have to tell you, it took me hours to find it, so it seemed perfect to start this blog post off with a quote like that because it’s perfect in every way. I wholeheartedly believe that the more we nurture our Creativity, the more predominant it is in our life and the more we have of it.

I know when I don’t indulge my Creativity I feel like I’m striking at cobwebs when I go back to try and nurture it and while it takes a few tries to get back on the horse, once I’m back and deep in my creative flow it just never stops. I wake up and feel like I’m on top of the world and I can just keep creating.

It’s the best kind of feeling.

If you do a quick search using Google this is what will come up:

And I’ve spoken about how massive Creativity is over in this post. At the end I linked the Creativity Wikipedia link too, and before you all groan and complain. I had one of my old and amazing lecturers link to it and say that it was the best piece of information out there on the web about Creativity (and yes, he has a PhD, so you know it’s legit).

I looked over it again and I was lead to a whole bunch of TED talks and spent hours and hours on end listening and taking notes about Creativity.

I feel like it’s a topic that I can never learn enough about and I found, through a TED talk, a really succinct way of summing up the stages of Creativity by Raphael DiLuzio.

There are seven stages of Creativity and each stage is important to the next because without them you can’t move forward.

Stage 1: Forming the question, idea or problem

This is where that amazing idea comes into your head and you’re ready to get it going. There’s a magic moment where you are jotting down the idea of what you want or the question or problem.

Stage 2: Research

And we get into the nitty gritty of researching and sifting through the information to come. We’re wanting to know how viable our idea is or what leads up into the question. As human beings we’re curious and we want to gather information on everything we can get our hands on.

Stage 3: The Basta Stage 

At this stage enough is enough (Basta means enough in Italian). You can keep going on and on with all of your researching and just go around and around in circles and not get far at all, this is where you put on the breaks and realise that you’ve done all you can it’s time to get into the deep shit or creating.

Stage 4: Gestation Period

This is broken down into three activities. Here is where you hold the question and you enter a state of detachment where you are doing something mundane like hanging the washing (which I did three times today) or mowing the lawn, making food or going to the gym. The question percolates in your brain and finds its answers. We also think in metaphors here, it helps our brains come up with tangents that don’t seeming fit with our question but lead us onto a solution without realising it. Before we move into the daydream mode where we think about the what ifs of what could happen.

Stage 5: Eureka Moment

This is a no brainer here: it’s the question that comes with the answer or you get the answer to the question. It’s the aha moment that you have when you’re in the bath and makes you run down the street naked. It’s what makes it all worth it.

Stage 6: Failure

I find that this stage is probably one of my least favourite but it doesn’t stop me from doing what needs to be done. This the part where people are most afraid because testing and trying and failing isn’t something that we like to indulge in. But sometimes we need to learn to fail to get help from others while we try to bring the idea to life.

Stage 7: Testing and Criticism

And finally, the last stage is about testing and pushing past the failure and getting the feedback we need to adjust and readjust and really get our idea off the ground.

These seven stages have been the most succinctly explained stages of creativity that I have found and more so I can relate to every single one of them whether I’m crafting a blog post, novel idea or coaching package, because with each different idea and offer moves through every stage that allows me to flesh out the idea and really dig into it.

How does your creativity work? Have you found that you have the ability to move through the seven stages or do you miss some? Let me know in the comments below.

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