‘Unleashing’ Creativity

I never did anything worth doing by accident; nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.
Thomas Alva Edison

I got an interesting comment today:

pls provide tips for unleashing creativity

It has always been my position in this blog that ideas ‘just come’ when you spend time working on a topic, and that the main problem is not getting ideas but getting good ideas that you realize. Organizing Creativity is all about that and as succinctly put in this poster, I believe it is not only possible but needed to achieve great works.

But what if you do not get ideas automatically? A colleague of mine once told me that he thinks that great artists recognize when something either is interesting from an artistic point of view or has the potential to be interesting. A musician who is inspired by some sounds in his environment for a great tune or a photographer who suddenly stops because he sees a great motif would be perfect examples. These people can benefit hugely by organizing their finds. But if you do not belong to these people — what do you do then?

Frankly, good question, I have no idea. I have included creativity techniques. You find them in the second version of the second book. But whereas I think that these ‘techniques’ can give you ‘an excuse’ to spend time ‘just thinking’ about a problem, I also think that they are totally useless unless you really, really know the subject.

Heinlein coined the acronym TANSTAAFL (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch). This is also true for creativity. You can’t imagine it as a wild dog that you simply ‘unleash’ and that will do the work for you. You have to work yourself first, to get the materials to work with, and afterwards, to implement the ideas you had.