Creativity isn't just for poets and painters.
Even highly analytical and quantitative undertakings, like running a methodologically sound physics experiment or using marketing data to optimize conversions, require some degree of what you might call “creativity.”
The thing with creativity, in any domain, is that it's not linear. As humans, we like clean, clear linear progressions and thought processes.
First A, then B, then C.
But creativity doesn't always work like that.
It's nonlinear and tangential. It's flexible.
It allows for unexpected connections and tangential thought processes.
Most entrepreneurs like order and scheduling.
After all, when you work for yourself, you have to impose order on yourself with things like scheduling and to-do lists. No one else is there to do it for you.
But at the same time, too much rigidity could actually hamper your ability to think creatively.
Sometimes, you just have to “let it flow.”
After the ideas come to you, then you can start ordering and structuring them.
A recent article from Copyblogger explains how the author uses nonlinear processes to come up with ideas for new articles.
Creativity is not linear
“Messy” is an understatement for my creative process.
It’s full of nonsensical phrases, tangents, mistakes, and experiments.
Certain articles I write begin with clear bullet points. Others begin as vague concepts. There’s no formula (which is convenient, because I don’t like that word anyway.)
Sometimes writing is easy; sometimes writing is hard.
The trick is to not get too attached to either experience. If you’re having a bad writing day, it won’t always be like that. If you’re having a good writing day, it won’t always be like that. You write (and keep writing) either way.
No matter what you’re working on, give yourself the freedom to try different techniques without getting discouraged if one method isn’t right for you. You can cross it off your list and try something else.
You can read more about unleashing your creative potential over at Copyblogger.