Creative process

5 steps to generating fresh ideas

Creative process

Write better, easier, faster Choose a creative process that works with — than against — your brain. Image by Jakob Owens

5-step creative process

Creative process: Get to Aha!

Creative process: Get to Aha!

Write better, easier & faster with this 5-step system

Brilliant ideas: The 5-step creative process helps you work with — not against — your brain to produce dazzling ideas, brighter pieces.


Quotes on the 5-step creative process

Quotes on the 5-step creative process

What writers & others say

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” — Jack London, author, oyster pirate, deep-sea sailor, hobo and Alaskan prospector


Step 1: Forage

Forage widely

Forage widely

Gather raw material

The right stuff: The better the information and inspiration you gather, the more creative the result.


3 ways to explore

3 ways to explore

Tips for foraging from the author of IdeaSpotting

Let’s go! Need an idea? Get out in the world and find one.


Quotes on foraging

Quotes on foraging

What writers & others say

“Creativity is an import-export game. It is not a creation game.” — Ronald S. Burt, sociologist, University of Chicago


Step 2: Analyze

Quotes on analyzing information

Quotes on analyzing information

What writers & others say

See the connections: “An idea is a feat of association.” — Robert Frost, poet


Step 3: Incubate

Incubate your ideas

Incubate your ideas

Take a walk, take a nap, take a break

Give it time to grow: Nurture your ideas by not working on your project.


Quotes on incubation

Quotes on incubation

What writers & others say

“All the really good ideas I ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.” — Grant Wood, American painter best known for “American Gothic”


Step 4: Break through

Quotes on breaking through

Quotes on breaking through

What writers & others say

“Out of nowhere the Idea will appear. It will come to you when you are least expecting it — while shaving, or bathing, or most often when you are half awake in the morning. It may waken you in the middle of the night.” — James Webb Young, a pre-Mad Men-era ad executive, in A Technique for Producing Ideas


Step 5: Knuckle down

Quotes on knuckling down

Quotes on knuckling down

What writers & others say

The 5th step of the process: “Apply the seat of your pants to the seat of the chair.” — Ernest Hemingway, Nobel Prize-winning author



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