Janice Stevens, 4 Steps to Creativity

The Four Stages of Creativity

Tapping into the creative mode, whether it is art, music and literature, involves four stages:

Inspiration

G.L. Johnson, pastor of People’s Church once said, “What good is a sunset if it doesn’t touch the soul?” Inspiration is the outcome of “touching the soul.” Whatever is meaningful and significant becomes the source of inspiration. In writing, the opportunities include photos, images, experiences, characters, animals, nature, and the list is endless. It depends on you, and what touches your soul becomes a memory or a description you wish to record.

Incubation

You have captured a thought, an inspiration. And you begin to focus on it, to mull it over and tease it, play with it, let it germinate or fester, whichever the inspiration evokes. You and your inspiration are incubating much like a baby from inception to birth.

Illumination

Voila! Ta-da! You’ve got it. The message becomes clear, as a lightbulb shines light on an object. You have an idea where you want to go with this theme, and you begin to throw out thoughts, on paper, on your computer, on tape. You grasp at thoughts sometimes elusive, but persevere, with no regard to order, or certainly not, grammar and spelling. This is the creative stage, and you don’t want the muse to vanish in mundane.

Revision and verification

You did it! From inspiration to revision, now is the time to fact check for accuracy; edit those confusing commas and variables in spelling, avoid the exclamation marks. For example, as author Bob Phillips said, “If the words in the sentence don’t work, an exclamation mark won’t make it better.” Stand back. Turn off your computer. Let your creation rest. Then come back, take another look, fix whatever needs fixing, and put your name on it.

Move on to the next moment of inspiration.

Written By Janice Stevens

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