I recently saw an interview with Jan Guillou, one of the most successful and creative authors in Sweden. He had some interesting thoughts about creativity that I think applies to all pretty much an creative craft. He is extremely structured and always does his writing in a predefined time box, when the time is up (triggered by an alarm clock or similar) he just stops typing, right in the middle of the sentence he was just typing. I think there are two lessons learned here. I am myself a big fan of using time boxing to boost creativity and to force myself to eliminate the not so important stuff and focus on the essence, the things that will lead to actual progress. This holds both for writing, coding and meetings. The second lesson is to stop right in the middle of an unfinished task. Doing that will help you to:
- know exactly what you should do next (leaves no room for writer's block or procrastination)
- keep the context of what you just worked on and more easily "boot the system" and get into the creative flow that you had when you stopped
Inspiration is for amateurs.Although a bit arrogant, I think it is true and something that holds for most creative crafts. Inspiration is overrated, what matters is perseverance and creative talent (in that order). If you just start with whatever you are about to do, then inspiration will usually follow.