Books, Equipping, Meaning, Pedagogy, Ramblings

The Six-Step Emotional Arc of Creativity

makespaceI’m making my way through a terrific book – Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration – based on the ideas and shape of Stanford’s design school (“d. school”). Every page in the book has a thousand ideas worth considering, implementing, and sharing.

One insight that jumped out at me this week is their mapping of the emotional arc of creativity. On page 176 of Make Space, six fundamental steps of the creative journey are laid out:

  1. A sense of excitement and limitless possibility.
  2. Overwhelming complexity.
  3. Unifying insights.
  4. Complete loss of confidence.
  5. The brutal realities of implementation.
  6. Completion and reflection.

Seeing this mapped out was a good reminder of the difficult, emotionally taxing, and potentially treacherous journey that is creativity. It’s so often that I linger on Step One or get overwhelmed by Steps Two and Four!

Where do you get stuck in the creative process?

What strategies have you found to move all the way through the process to completion?


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